Dear MEL Topic Readers,
The low-cost mini satellites bringing mobile to the world
More satellites in space for broader coverage for mobile communications. It might have sounded like a bold plan a few years ago but it’s going to happen by the next Olympic Games.
Indeed, there still are a lot of people in the world who don’t have affordable mobile communication services. Most of them live in remote places where there are no mobile phone masts. They neither have internet connection nor simple phone calling or text messaging services while quite a few companies and innovators are trying to launch numbers of satellites to provide full and fast broadband services in already-connected affluent customers on the planet. Economically, it has been too costly to set up a land-based mobile network or launch satellites to cover under-developed marketplaces.
Now, an Israeli venture is preparing to launch as many as 200 mini-satellites to provide basic mobile communication services to three billion people in equatorial regions in Africa and Latin America. The key to this ambitious and unprecedented project is the launch and operational costs. They came up with a shoebox-sized satellite that weighs only 10kg, just enough to provide basic voice and text services. The total cost to put 200 satellites is no higher a conventional communication satellite.
While there already are over two billion smartphone users in the world, there are billions of people who just need basic mobile phones and who still don’t have either device.
Enjoy reading and learning about this new initiative to connect more people around the world.