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SpaceX Starlink Is Coming to Low-Income Nations

Beta testers in the US and Canada paid $500 for a terminal and are paying $99 per month for the service. The beta tests began in high-income countries, but SpaceX is beginning to roll Starlink out and will include low-income nations, for example, India. Last September, SpaceX responded to a request for consultation on a roadmap to promote broadband connectivity and enhanced broadband speed from TRAI, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India. more

5G a Fizzle With Consumers

The cellular companies have made an unprecedented push to get customers interested in 5G. Back in November, I recorded a college football game that enabled me to go back and count the twelve 5G commercials during the game. Advertising during sports events is relatively expensive, so these ads were not purchased at bargain-basement prices. The amount of money being spent on advertising 5G must be gigantic. more

Starlink Broadband Service – More on the Beta Plus Exciting Video

If you have last-generation satellite internet access, broadband from a wireless ISP (WISP), or even satellite television from DISH or DIRECTV, an installer came and carefully aimed a dish antenna for you. Starlink, a broadband access service from Elon Musk's SpaceX company, reimagines the install process and, in most cases, eliminates the need for an installer. The Starlink dish can sit on the ground or the peak of your roof; more importantly, it aims itself, as you see in the accompanying video. more

Consumer Technology vs. 5G

5G represents a threat to the level playing field and innovation of the Internet. It is the new face of the battle over network neutrality. At its inception in the 19th-century, the talking telegraph (AKA the telephone) was an amazing feat of engineering using analog technology. One could speak into a microphone in one city and be heard in another city. Accomplishing this required a very large investment in technology. The customers were consumers of the service. more

My Experience With Starlink Broadband, It Passes "Better Than Nothing" Beta Test

May become the access answer for many at the end of the road. The icicle dripping dish in the picture is the antenna for Starlink, a satellite-based broadband service from SpaceX -- one of Elon Musk's other companies. It came Saturday, just before the snow arrived here in Stowe, VT. It's heated, so I didn't have to shovel it out, and it's working despite its frozen beard. The pandemic has shown us that it is socially irresponsible to leave any family without broadband access. more

SpaceX Is First With Inter-Satellite Laser Links in Low-Earth Orbit, but Others Will Follow

When SpaceX first announced plans for Starlink, their low-Earth orbit Internet service constellation, they said each satellite would have five inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs) - two links to satellites in the same orbital plane, two to satellites in adjacent orbital planes, and one to a satellite in a crossing plane. They subsequently dropped the crossing link as too difficult and, when they finally began launching satellites, they had no laser links. Last year they tested ISLLs on two satellites. more

What Will 2021 Have Install for the ICT Industry?

While 2021 will remain a year with lots of uncertainties, at the same time, we can say that the pandemic has not affected the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in any significant way. Yes, there has been a slowdown, for example, in the sale of smartphones. Shortages in both materials and expertise are slowing fiber deployment, and the recovery over 2021 will be slow and uncertain because of the many lockdowns and travel restrictions. more

The Legacy of the Pai FCC

As is normal with a change of administration, there are articles in the press discussing the likely legacy of the outgoing administration. Leading the pack in singing his own praises is former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who recently published this document listing a huge list of accomplishments of the FCC under his Chairmanship. Maybe it's just me, but it feels unseemly for a public servant to publish an official self-praise document. more

Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite Internet Service Developments for 2020

I posted reviews of important LEO-satellite Internet service developments during 2017, 2018 and 2019. I've updated those posts during the years and have 18 new posts for 2020. In 2020 we saw increased effort from China, OneWeb's bankruptcy and restructuring with new ownership and prospects, Amazon investng in space-related infrastructure, Telesat making steady progress, SpaceX making rapid progress and satellite and debris tracking and collision-avoidsnce service startups. The following are brief summaries of and links to the 2020 posts. more

One More Trump 5G Minefield

As the saying goes, it's not over until it's over. So, it wasn't surprising that Trump's minions just got one last 5G minefield out the door. On 15 January, his followers at Dept. of Commerce's NTIA published the "National Strategy to Secure 5G Implementation Plan". The 40-page document consists of a fairly standard Washington policy playbook of 18 activities with six annexes that "details how the United States along with like-minded countries will lead global development, deployment, and... more

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