Last Updated: January 3, 2022.
If you have satellite internet, then you know that the connection can be poor at times and the speeds slower than expected. Amazon and SpaceX are trying to improve the world of satellite internet with more equipment in orbit and better technology all around.
This is the basis of the current space race. Elon Musk has already put over 1,000 satellites in orbit since 2019 and plans to launch even more in the near future.
He launched the satellites so that they are closer to Earth in order to provide a better connection, especially for areas where broadband isn’t readily available. Amazon plans to get its Project Kuiper going with satellites being launched before 2022 comes to a close.
The goal for SpaceX and Project Kuiper is to get about 4 billion people in the world connected to the fastest satellite internet who live in rural areas as well as businesses that are located in similar areas so that they can boost revenues and provide better customer service.
These businesses include cruise ships and airlines that are sometimes in areas where an internet signal isn’t always available.
Starlink is up and running and is providing service to about 90,000 people in the world.
There are other companies that have had similar goals that SpaceX and Amazon have already accomplished. However, these companies have usually failed by not being able to launch the satellites or not having the funding available to complete the project.
Bill Gates lent his support to Teledesic in the 1990s, but the project didn’t take off as expected after billions had been pumped into the equipment and the design.
Iridium went bankrupt before it could get satellites in orbit, and OneWeb filed for bankruptcy just in the past year after getting very close to competing with Amazon in the space race.
Musk has reviewed the companies that have had failures in the past and understand that Starlink might not be successful in the future.
He does have the Falcon 9 rockets that can be used multiple times to launch satellites, which can save some money instead of using new rockets each time.
A Comparison of Internet Services
About 8 million people in the United States rely on satellites to provide their internet service. However, the service is usually slower than cable, and there are usually data caps each month.
One reason why people use satellite internet is that it’s the only option available where they live. Viasat and HughesNet are among the top providers but have their satellites in a higher orbit than the Starlink satellites that are in orbit.
When satellites are in a higher orbit, the signal has to travel a longer distance, which is why the signal can be much slower. Starlink satellites are much closer to Earth, which means that the signal doesn’t have as far to travel, resulting in a better connection.
There are also many more satellites with the Starlink project compared to only a few that other companies have launched.
Starlink wasn’t designed to provide service to those who live in bustling cities as there are cable connections available in those areas.
Instead, Starlink and Amazon want to target people who are in rural areas so that they don’t have to search for a connection in order to have the basic service that others have in their homes and businesses.
Keep in mind that weather situations can inhibit the signal and that scientists could have a difficult time looking into space with the higher number of satellites in orbit.