Sabrett’s Satellite

This week’s news that traces of nitrates were found by SAM on Mars — and the Fark headline linking it to hot dogs — reminded me to ponder the one decent rumor to come out of the Satellite Show in Washington last week: Apple is buying a spacecraft from Boeing.

You might as well sell one to Sabrett’s to connect all their hot dog carts around the world. Hey, they’re selling branded merchandise, so why not?

Google, Facebook or Amazon might buy one, too. Does anybody at Reuters check this stuff? One call to anybody in the business would tell you “you’re way off on this one.” This is link bait.

Designing, building, launching and operating a spacecraft takes a long time and costs a lot of money. Understand this. This cannot change.

You can have all the bandwidth and high-throughput possible on the spacecraft’s payload, but it means absolutely nothing if you can’t make use of it on the ground. One-to-many distribution is where this technology makes sense — not point-to-point or multipoint-to-multipoint. That’s why TV loves satellite. This network topology can’t change much. Higher frequencies need better antennae for reception — and transmit has its own challenges. If you plan on using mobile frequencies such as those used by Thuraya in Asia and the Middle East, you’d be planning on coordinating with terrestrial and mobile telecoms for more years than it would take to build the spacecraft.

Get over it, people. Building a new satcom network isn’t worth it. It’s like selling hot dogs on Mars: who are you going to sell it to?

With O3b Networks actually operating and building out globally, get in that space and figure out how you can work with it. Latency is minimized on the tech side, and terrestrial connectivity is being added for “the other 3 billion people” inhabiting this planet who are without Internet access.

And put some mustard on it.


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