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Blog FCC Grants Approval for SpaceX’s Satellite Broadband Plan

SpaceX received Federal Communications Commission approval Thursday for a plan to deliver broadband internet using satellites.

The company launched last month its first test prototype satellites, known as Tintin A and B. The full plan calls for 4,425 satellites that will provide low-cost satellite internet service around the world.

“Although we still have much to do with this complex undertaking, this is an important step toward SpaceX building a next-generation satellite network that can link the globe with reliable and affordable broadband service, especially reaching those who are not yet connected,” SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said in a statement.

SpaceX is calling the constellation “Starlink.” They will begin deploying satellites next year and the system will be operational once it hits 800 satellites.

Over the past year, the FCC has approved requests by OneWeb, Space Norway, and Telesat to

access the U.S. market to provide broadband services using satellite technology.

 

 
Last edited by a moderator:

croman

Well-Known Member
Nov 21, 2016
5,285
8,297
Chicago, IL
Can someone explain the difference between what SpaceX is trying to do here, and Iridium?

It appears they both will be providing the same or similar set of communication services covering the entire globe up from sky.

LEO internet constellations are not a one and done system. Each provider has certain demographics they are targeting and use types (i.e commercial vs. consumer). Each constellation provider has different ideas on how to deliver their services and how to enable global coverage.

So while SpaceX's might seem similar to their competitors, and, in fact, are very similar they are each operating a different niche with different prospective customers/clients.

Just like its great for the nation to have SpaceX, ULA, and (eventually) BO, it is better for the world to have many microsat LEO internet constellations operating and providing internet to the globe.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
12,498
11,110
Maine
Can someone explain the difference between what SpaceX is trying to do here, and Iridium?

It appears they both will be providing the same or similar set of communication services covering the entire globe up from sky.

Iridium provides communication to and from satellite phones.

Starlink is primarily intended to provide satellites communications for a future Martian colony for fixed locations with a flat dish the size* of a pizza box.

* Unfortunately unspecified. Does anyone know Elon's favorite pizza?
 
  • Funny
Reactions: croman
Can someone explain the difference between what SpaceX is trying to do here, and Iridium?

It appears they both will be providing the same or similar set of communication services covering the entire globe up from sky.

I think the biggest technical difference is that Starlink is designed to be an independent new internet in space and Iridium is not.

Iridium just bridging the internet to new users at relatively low speeds. Starlink is creating a new internet with laser sat to sat links replacing fiber.
 

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