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SpaceX's Starlink Internet Service Will Target End Users on Day One

Starting with Teledesic in 1990, would-be Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations have been justified to the FCC, other regulators, and the public as a means of closing the digital divide. Teledesic's goal was "providing affordable access to advanced network connections to all those parts of the world that will never get such advanced capabilities through existing technologies." Today's low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite companies make the same claim, but Telesat, OneWeb and Leosat seem to be targeting commercial markets first. more

4G Mobile Trials Have Begun in Cuba - What Is Their 3/4/5G Strategy?

During the first month of 3G mobile service, Cuban Internet use increased substantially. At the end of January, ETECSA had 5.4 million mobile users, 35% of which use the Internet and they are adding 5,000 new data customers per day. According to Eliecer Samada, head of ETECSA's wireless access group, the company is now at 160% of the expected capacity. more

CarPIF Regional Connectivity Meeting to Address Affordable and Resilient Internet Access

The Eastern Caribbean island of Grenada has been selected as the venue for the fifth regional meeting of the Caribbean Internet Peering and Interconnection Forum, CarPIF, set for June 12 to 13. The annual international event, which draws Internet giants like Facebook and Google to the region, is focused on developing the Internet in the Caribbean by improving policy and building relationships between network operators and content providers. more

Google Baloons and Telesat Satellites

Telesat will use Google's network operating system. Telesat is making progress. Within the last month, they announced a launch contract with Blue Origin, a successful antenna test with Ball Aerospace and completion of system requirements reviews, but perhaps more interesting is an agreement to use the software defined network (SDN) platform Google has developed for their Project Loon. more

Banning 5G Equipment is a Foolish Strategy

It has become popular today around Washington and the venues of its coerced allies to issue threats to ban telecommunications equipment from certain countries - especially equipment intended for 5G use. The guise is vague assertions of "national security." It is an old tactic dating back to the turn of the last century and recurrent for decades. A combination of treaty instruments and collaborative industry standards activity several decades ago largely put an end to the banning tactic - significantly benefitting the entire world. more

Electronically Steerable, Flat-Panel Antennas for Satellite and Terrestrial Connectivity

What will the cost and capability of these antennas be in ten or twenty years? What would be the applications and implications of ubiquitous wireless networks? You might have some short-term guesses, like smart cities, but farther out it's science fiction -- Gaia, the Noosphere, 1984? ... Three companies, OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat, plan to provide global, low-latency broadband Internet service using constellations of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. more

The First Month of Cuban 3G Mobile Internet Service

ETECSA, Cuba's government monopoly ISP, is offering a number of stopgap Internet services -- navigation rooms, home DSL and WiFi hotspots, but the recently rolled out 3G mobile service is the most important. The plot to the right shows the normalized rate of Cuban domain name requests to Oracle servers during the first full month of operation - a surrogate estimate of Internet traffic volume. more

Simulation of OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's Proposed Global Broadband Constellations

Inigo del Portillo and his colleagues at MIT have run a simulation comparing OneWeb, SpaceX and Telesat's proposed low-Earth orbit Internet service constellations. The models are based on the initial FCC filings by the companies and demand and data-rate estimates by the authors. I will mention subsequent amendments to the filings below later in the post. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2018

At the end of 2017, I posted a review of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments. I've been updating those posts during the year and have also added the following new posts in 2018. ... SpaceX, OneWeb and Telesat are planning to offer Internet-service from LEO, but O3b is already providing connectivity to relatively large customers like mobile phone companies, government organizations, and cruise ship lines using a constellation of medium-Earth orbit (MEO) satellites.  more

OneWeb’s Offer to Sell a Share of Their Satellite Internet Service to Russia

OneWeb has a contract to launch Internet-service satellites on Russian-made Soyuz rockets and has a joint venture with Gonets, a Russian satellite operator, as a marketing partner in Russia. However, the Russian government has expressed concerns about security, dragged their feet on spectrum allocation and complained about US sanctions. This led OneWeb to make two concessions. more

Lessons from the O2 Network Outage: The Real Cost of Manual Processes

More than 30 million people lost their data connectivity on December 6, 2018, in the United Kingdom as O2's network suffered from a nationwide service outage. Based on several reports, the incident was caused by a human error at Ericsson, the telecoms supplier responsible for operating certain parts of the O2 network. To compensate for the downtime and tarnished reputation, the O2 management is now reportedly seeking damages of up to a hundred million pounds from Ericsson. more

The Case for Making 3G Mobile Internet Access Free in Cuba

Last week ETECSA began offering 3G mobile access to Cuba's national intranet and the global Internet and President Diaz-Canal tweeted the news. His tweet has received 216 comments so far and reading through them, many are effusively positive... Others were critical, noting that the prices are high relative to Cuban incomes (one said "absurd") and the technology is obsolete -- "Congratulations, but they're 20 years late." more

Cuba Rolls Out 3G Mobile Access

After several months of trials, ETECSA announced the availablity of third-generation mobile access to their national intranet and the global Internet in a televised "round table." The prices are quite steep for a typical Cuban and I suspect there would be relatively few subscribers among the 34% of the population that is not yet covered. Furthermore, many users will have to buy new phones to use the service. (There are still 1,084 second-generation mobile base stations in Cuba). more

Rural Home Connectivity in Cuba

Cuba's government monopoly ISP ETECSA in October announced special home connectivity rates for some of the poorest towns in rural Cuba. The monthly charge for 30 hours of 512/256 Kbps DSL access in those towns will be 5 CUC. In other areas where home connectivity is available, the minimum monthly charge is 15 CUC for 30 hours of 1,024/256 kbps service and faster, more expensive, plans are available. more

A Cool Simulation of SpaceX’s Revised Satellite Broadband Plan

On November 15, the FCC approved a revision to the plan for Starlink, SpaceX's forthcoming broadband satellite service. The new plan reduces the number of satellites from 4,525 to 4,409 and lowers the altitude of the phase-1 satellites from 1,100 to 550 km. Mark Handley, a professor at University College London, has created videos based on simulations he ran of both the original and revised phase 1 plans. more

News Briefs

Russians Take to the Streets to Protest Against New Internet Restrictions

Facebook Enters Wholesale Fiber Business, Plans to Sell Unused Capacity on New Fiber Routes

US House and Senate Democratic Leaders Announce Bill to Restore Federal Net Neutrality Rules

Number of Chinese Internet Users Reaches 829 Million, More Than Double the Population of the US

Russia to Disconnect Entirely From the Internet as Part of Cyber-Defense Measure

Government-Directed Internet Shutdowns and Fiber Cuts Continue in 2019 Impacting Various Countries

US Senate to Hold Hearing on Consumer Data Privacy Issues

Microsoft’s New Study Reports Over 162 Million in US Lack Broadband, FCC Says Only 24.7 Million

SpaceX Wins FCC Approval to Deploy 7,518 Satellites for Broadband Communications

China Telecom Accused of Misdirecting Internet Traffic

New Analysis by Web Foundation Shows Dramatic Decline in Internet Access Growth

Internet Society Partnering With Facebook to Develop Internet Exchange Points Throughout Africa

For the First Time in Recent Internet History a Subsea Cable Across South Atlantic Activated

Alphabet's Loon Balloons Can Now Cover 1000km of Internet Connectivity via 1 Access Point

China Continues to Be at the Forefront of Fibre Adoption, Saw 26% FTTH Growth in Past 12 Months

Internet Traffic Slowed for Popular Video Apps by Wireless Carriers in US, New Research Indicates

Toughest State-Level Net Neutrality Bill in the US Approved by California Senate

China Has Reached 802 Million Internet Users, According to Country's Internet Development Report

In an Eight-Hour Test, Cuba Makes Internet Access Available Nationwide

Escalating War in Yemen Dividing Country's Internet

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