So you have heard of balloons and drones beaming down (or at least planning to do so) internet ? Hear this : Samsung is planning something called “space internet”, which will comprise of some 4600 microsatellites, beaming down a staggering one zettabyte of data per month. Phew !
Let me tell you what that much data means. One zettabyte of data per month will mean 200 GB of data per month to over Five Billion earth residents. So yeah, that is a lot of data. All of this was detailed by Samsung in a research paper, wherein it plans to walk on the footsteps of Google and Facebook to power up our devices with lots and lots of internet.
The research paper has been authored by Samsung president of R&D America Farooq Khan, wherein he argues that, based on current mobile usage, demand for mobile data will hit one zettabyte per month by 2028, and thats exactly the amount of data Samsung plans to beam.
As more people connect to the internet, increasingly chat to friends and family, watch videos on the move, and listen to streamed music on their mobile devices, mobile data traffic continues to grow at unprecedented rates,” he said, adding satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles will be needed to “connect the remaining two-thirds of humankind that currently do not have access to the internet”.
The vision which Khan calls ‘space internet’, will be powered by micro-satellites, that would orbit between 160 kilometers and 2,000 kilometers in altitude.
Khan further details in his paper, that such craft “use less power due to proximity to Earth, are smaller in size, lower in weight, and therefore are easier to launch”, according to Khan. Moreover, a low-earth orbit would result in lesser lag and latency, thus enabling a speedy internet connection.
However, cost could be a major barrier in implementing such a large scale project. And as such, Khan hasn’t really laid out a resources-plan for his ambitious project, which he plans to implement by 2020. However, he does note, that he price of running a space-based system of this sort will drop, following the widespread adoption of 5G wireless technologies in the near future.