Broadband anywhere via satellite (1st bird launched)

Dec 10, 2003
Three new Inmarsat 4 communications satellites will provide global broadband Internet access to mobile users for the first time.

The first satellite, launched March 10, will cover most of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The second, planned for summer 2005 launch, will cover South America, most of North America, the Atlantic Ocean and part of the Pacific Ocean.

The new Broadband Global Area Network service will provide telephony, data and high-speed Internet access for laptop and palm-sized terminals at speeds up to 1 Mbps. This will enable business travellers, disaster relief workers, journalists, etc. to operate a virtual office anywhere in the satellite footprint, including maritime or air routes.

For faster access, on-board digital signal processors will route the signals to and from the satellite's different beams, acting like a switchboard in the sky: any uplinked signal can be routed to any mobile downlink beam and vice versa.

The satellites are designed and built by EADS Astrium, Europe's leading satellite manufacturer.

At only 1$ per kilobit of info :lol: lol

I think those satellite phones are like so expensive they arent worth our time. Hopefully this will be affordable.. imagine being able to surf the net anywhere.. Cool Man!
If this becomes financially feasible in the future (how's that for alliteration?), I think this system would be much better than the proposed WiMAX installations. But we shall see.
Man.. Big brother will know every keystroke.. Probably does already..
Any idea how much the service is going to cost? How does it compare to DirecTV's satellite internet service?
HI Bill..

I know that DSL is faster that DirecTV's service. They have a comparison that demonstrates this rather well. Though it is WAYYYY faster than dial up.

If the satelitte Broadband is affordable, the next question, will it truly be mobile? Right now, you have to track the satelitte as you're moving. That's a pretty expensive set up by itself as well as being subject to bumps in the road, trees occluding your view of the bird, buildings, etc. The reciever can be similar to the satelitte radio where the reception of the signal is pretty much omni directional, but I can't see the upload transmission doing that. That's going to need to be pretty directional, at least I would think. Also take into account weather, clouds, solar activity, etc.

On the other hand, it would really be nice IF........
Do we know the size of the antenna/dish? Previous satellite internet service have required small satellite dishes... However, if they can execute it like XM/WxWorx has, they could do a small antenna that's only about the size of a (hockey) puck. Assuming they can do this financially-friendly, I think we'd see the demise of WxWORX given that WxWorx only allows for the used to view a select number of products (no SPC mesoanalysis graphics, not many NWS/SPC products, etc etc)...
Their site said something about a unit the size of a laptop. These new satellites are geostationary so if you aren't moving the don't need to be tracked. I think the techonology is good enough that even if you are moving an omni-directional would be good enough.
I've had a satphone since 2001, and the costs aren't really astronomical.

I've posted about it on here every year, I think, to a consensus reaction of "yawn", which is what I'll surely get again, but whatever.

I fail to understand why so many chasers scoff at the satphone's 9.6k baud rate, when it can be used as you drive, with no dead spots. It works halfway between Trinidad and Springfield. It works everywhere.

Instead, you guys would rather take a 15 minute detour or stop at a hotspot for 10 minutes to save 3 minutes of download time. A radar image takes 45 seconds to download. The antenna is small.

Before initiation, I want to look at a lot of data. I go to a library, or stay in my motel room.

During the chase, there isn't much I need beyond a couple radar images, a sat image, and some quality time on the phone with my nowcaster.

I'd love to get a 1Mbps connection in Timbuktu, sure, but for now I love the insurance that the satphone provides.