A number of readers wrote in about the launch this morning of a Japanese H-2A rocket carrying a Kizuna ("Winds") satellite into orbit. Kizuna is intended to provide "super high-speed data transmission
" for Japan and Southeast Asia. The news stories on the launch, such as the AP's linked here, are short on technical detail. For example they say the satellite successfully achieved orbit 175 miles above the earth — hardly suitable for Internet communications to a specific area on the surface (remember Teledesic
?). Reader nebulus4 provided a link to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency site with an illustration and a little more detail
. Such as the fact that Kizuna is destined for geosync orbit, and that a 45-cm antenna will equip eventual users for 155 Mbps down / 6 Mbps up, whereas a 5-m antenna will allow enterprises and ISPs to tap into 1.2 Gbps down. Given the latency to geosync orbit, you probably wouldn't want to use Kizuna to play an online shooter.