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Canada Space The Internet Science

Canadian Firm Plans 78-Satellite Net Service 143

Posted by samzenpus
from the who-doesn't-love-satellite-service? dept.
matty619 writes "A CNET article is reporting on another try at low earth orbit satellites for internet access, reminiscent of Teledesic, an ill fated $9 billion Bill Gates/Paul Allen et al venture originally consisting of 840 low earth orbit satellites (LEO-SAT). From the article: 'MSCI, which stands for Microsat Systems Canada Inc., is trying to be a bit of a maverick with its project, called CommStellation. The company said today that its approach of using small, inexpensive satellites in low orbit — about 620 miles above the Earth — means better coverage of the world's population, quicker launch, and better network capacity.' Each MSCI satellite has a data-transfer capacity of 12 gigabits per second. The expected lifespan of each is 10 years, and they can be sent back into the atmosphere at the end of their lives to avoid more orbital clutter."
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Canadian Firm Plans 78-Satellite Net Service

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  • by medv4380 (1604309) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @06:59PM (#34933768)

    High ping, high jitter, low bandwidth once you factor in number of users and high cost, what could be better?

    Dialup

  • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday January 19, 2011 @08:12PM (#34934448) Journal

    I would think that the 10-12 msec estimate already took all of that into account. If the bird is right above you, a 1244 mile round trip is a little over 6 msec. at the speed of light. Also, bear in mind that LEO satellites don't use a dish---they use a normal antenna---so no alignment is involved. You can't realistically track a bird whose twenty minute ground path is the size of North America using a directional aerial. The whole point of LEO constellations is that there are always multiple birds overhead, so you talk to the one that provides the strongest signal or whatever.

    But you're right about load balancing and cities. The flip side of that coin is that these can cover areas that can't feasibly be covered by cellular coverage due to low population density. You know, like most of Canada, where this company is based. It's a tradeoff.

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