7 Space Companies Racing For a Global Satellite Network
When you look up at the sky, you probably don’t think about satellites that might be floating around. In order to get internet services to as many people as possible, companies often rely on these devices. When it comes to more services and larger areas served, there are at least seven companies that are racing against each other to develop a global network.
Perhaps the most well-known company is Starlink. The company that’s associated with SpaceX has more satellites already in space than the competition, giving it a higher chance of creating a global network. There are 1,350 satellites in space by Starlink. Elon Musk could put another 42,000 in space over the next five years. The goal that Starlink has is to join several satellites together so that they circle the globe. This could create a large network that offers internet services to almost everyone on the planet.
Amazon is at the top of the list as well and plans to put over 3,000 satellites in space. Some of the satellites could be very close to those that Starlink already has positioned, which could lead to arguments over who really provided global services first. Jeff Bezos believes that at least half of the satellites will be operational before 2026 and will likely be sent on Blue Origin.
This is a name that is quite common regarding internet services. The company that is based in California has about 22,000 satellites in space and wants to now focus on putting high-capacity satellites with those. These would send stronger signals back to Earth. The company wants to put some of its satellites closer to the planet for a better signal as well. The company understands that there is a race but that companies can work together to provide the best network possible. If more satellites are put in space, then there’s a greater chance that they could collide, which could result in a lack of internet service.
This is another popular name pertaining to internet services, especially if you have a satellite connection in your home. Most satellites that are in space by this company are about 22,000 miles away from Earth. These are fixed and usually won’t move a significant distance, resulting in fewer delays with internet speeds. The services that are offered are usually for a specific area, which means that HughesNet would likely need to put more satellites in space if it wants to go global.
OneWeb is based in the UK and only has 146 satellites in space. However, it does want to get close to another 650 in the air in the coming years. The goal is to offer internet to the entire UK before the end of June before services are expanded to Russia, Canada, and the Nordic area. OneWeb wants to work a little differently as it has the idea to put the satellites in space while other companies distribute the internet to customers.
The European company has 39 satellites in space that are in positions that are a bit more fixed than others. Service is provided to Europe and Africa, but the company wants to expand services to other areas of Europe in the near future.
This is a company based in Canada. It has the fewest satellites in space but wants to launch LEO satellites that could deliver lightning-fast internet to Canada and areas in the northern half of the planet. Most services that are provided by the company are to businesses and governments.