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Satellite Broadband: A faster way to connect India

FOR THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET, SOME OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST COMPANIES, SUCH AS AMAZON AND SPACEX, ARE LOOKING TO SPACE. Although satellite-based Internet is still in its infancy, analysts think that broadband Internet delivered from orbit may become a multibillion-dollar industry in less than 20 years, earning hundreds of billions of dollars. The “space” element of “space Internet” has gotten a lot of attention lately, with news headlines focusing on SpaceX’s Starlink satellite launches and Amazon’s intentions to catch up with its own satellites. However, in order to broadcast and receive data, all of these satellites will require transceivers on Earth. A new one has been developed by scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Socionext Inc. to work with the next generation of Internet satellites.

Satellite Broadband

What are Transceivers? They are unassuming bits of technology that are among the least spectacular yet most crucial in history. A transceiver, as the name implies, is a device that can both transmit and receive signals. Combining a transmitter and a receiver into one device offers greater versatility, and they’ve been used to reach faraway regions since its invention in the 1920s. The Australian John Traeger invented one of the first transceivers, which was used to enable medics to contact rural settlements.

The new transceiver, built for space internet technology and exhibited this month at the virtual IEEE Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium, was developed in Kenichi Okada’s lab at Tokyo Tech. It includes a lot of improvements on both the transmitting and receiving ends of the transaction. All of these initiatives are aimed at bringing Internet connectivity to rural and isolated locations. The transceiver, which measures only 3 mm (0.118 inches) by 3 mm, can connect with satellites 22,000 miles above the Earth’s atmosphere. “In low-density rural areas, satellite communication has become a major technology for offering interactive TV and broadband internet services. Implementing Ka-band communications on silicon — specifically, [complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor] technology — is an attractive solution because of the possibility for low-cost worldwide coverage while utilizing the large bandwidth available “In a statement made by Tokyo Tech, Okada said. The transceiver uses a dual-channel design on the receiving end. This means that two receiving channels can simultaneously receive signals from two separate satellites. It can easily pick up another signal if there is ever any interference, whether from a hostile actor, a satellite breaking down in space, or the occasional solar flare. It can also deal with one of the most troublesome problems that any transceiver can face: adjacent channel interference, or ACI. When a signal sent on one channel overlaps with another, causing noise and interference, ACI develops. The dual-channel architecture of the new transceiver can block ACI at the source, and any interference is removed by neighboring channels. ACI is the type of issue that might arise regularly in distant places, and removing it allows the device’s range to be extended even further.

How will Satellite Broadband evolve in India? In India, there has been a surge in interest in satellite communications over the last several months. When telcos sought a piece of the 27.5 GHz – 29.5 GHz band, which is used for satellite communications worldwide, the controversy erupted. India will be unable to realize the full potential of satellite communications due to the sharing of this frequency. Companies throughout the world are attempting to develop and deploy “mega-constellations” of hundreds or thousands of satellites in order to provide corporations, governments, schools, and individuals with inexpensive high-speed internet access. Despite India’s great achievements in space, the country’s progress has been slow. According to ISRO research, India now has a 3% share of the $360 billion global space market. In India, satellite broadband services are mostly used by businesses, with a market worth around $100 million. Satellite internet services might be a $500 million-plus market potential in the near future, according to SpaceCom specialists. However, this is only achievable in the presence of a favorable policy climate.

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The advantage in terms of cost
Instantaneous service is provided by satellite broadband. Satellite internet does not require laying cable to beam into homes, commercial facilities, including machine to machine and IoT. Consider the following for a moment: According to Space India 2.0, the cost of covering one square kilometer from space ranges between $1.5 and $6, compared to $3,000 to $30,000 for ground infrastructure to cover the same area. Consumers will profit from such substantial cost reductions. Consumers, whether in the B2B or B2C market, will have unrestricted communication because there are no cables involved. OTT services, high-speed, always-on internet access, quick adoption of video streaming, connecting underserved areas, e-Sims, and trunking technologies are just a few of the industries that will see explosive expansion.

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Despite the development of high-throughput satellites around the world, Indian satellites continue to use traditional satellites: despite the ‘Make in India’ objective, there is a dearth of domestic participation in the construction of space infrastructure. Satellite broadband is not commercially viable in India due to the use of older satellite technologies. Globally, the utilization of high throughput [HTS] satellites has undergone a substantial change to more sophisticated innovation, with the cost of satellite realization being significantly lower than the cost per bit. SatCom [Direct and Indirect sectors] has a huge potential to contribute a significant portion of GDP growth with the correct policy interventions, and it has the ability to open floodgates for more innovation, R&D, employment, investment, and connectivity. However, deregulation and privatization must be re-examined immediately. The majority of these value-chain pieces have been privatized by advanced space-faring states. Building systems to help nurture the business and develop a large ecosystem to generate a ‘Space 2.0′ in India is required. The space industry has enormous promise in repeating the success of the IT sector, where a structured operating system allows the government to generate chances for greater private sector participation. With a competent regulator and arbitrator in place, the industry will grow into a revenue and job-generating giant.

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