Samsung Proposes to Provide Global Internet via 4,600 Micro-Satellites
Samsung is readying to join the wave of companies envisioning a world blanketed with satellite-based internet access. A new paper penned by Farooq Khan, President of Samsung R&D America, proposes an assemblage of roughly 4,600 low-cost, micro-satellites, which would provide unlimited “space Internet” to the entire world population.
In the paper, titled “Mobile Internet from the Heavens,” Khan posits the possibility of deploying thousands of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, each capable of switching between multiple radio frequency bands to deliver over a terabit per second data rates. That would generate a total of 1 Zetabyte/month capacity which is equivalent to 200GB/month — enough to handle 5 billion users worldwide.
As per the published report, each satellite would provide Terabit/s data rates with signal latencies better than or equal to ground-based systems.
“Almost two-thirds of the humankind currently does not have access to the Internet, wired or wireless,” says Khan. “With this large number of satellites needed to meet the goal, our motivation for low-cost micro-satellites with lower development and launch costs become even more apparent.”
While Khan doesn’t propose a firm roadmap, he notes that by 2028 both cellular and Wi-Fi would be carrying data traffic in excess of one Zetabyte/month.
If Samsung were to pursue this plan, it won’t be the first to come up with the idea. Google, Facebook, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s OneWeb are already considering similar plans to deliver global Internet connectivity using LEO satellites.