Broadband internet arena set for a giant leap as firms, nations plan big

Eutelsat, OneWeb kick off parleys to build a global champion in broadband internet

If plans work out fine as expected, the broadband internet arena will see a huge leap. In a serious bid to give shape to a global champion in broadband internet, French satellite operator Eutelsat has opened parleys with British counterpart OneWeb. The talks would centre around a tie-up that would create what the companies term a “global champion” in broadband internet.

If the plan turns fruitful, the new technology would have al in it to rival US services of the likes of Elon Musk’s Starlink and others. A look at what all satellite broadband would usher in would throw up some amazing results. And among them would be extensive and seamless coverage to the most remote areas of the planet. This will be made possible sans the need for antennas and other infrastructure. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Satellite broadband to enable internet on commercial aircraft

And, there is more. The new satellite broadband tech would enable the supply of internet on commercial aircraft and also connected cars.

It is a known fact that Starlink is top of the heap with over 2,000 tiny satellites orbiting above the Earth at just a few hundred kilometres away. OneWeb, the British player in this arena, owns around 428 low-orbiting satellites.

French satellite operator Eutelsat, which has kicked off talks with OneWeb, is already offering internet services through a deal with telecommunications company Orange. However, its larger satellites orbit thousands of kilometres away from Earth, and so prove to be more helpful for television networks and other communications facilities. Now with Eutelsat looking to go hand in hand with OneWeb, the two could bring in a revolution in the broadband terrain.

Market to be worth $16 bn by 2030

Eutelsat, according to a report, believes that it would have before it a market that stands to be worth $16 billion by year 2030. The French major has sad that the “potential all-share combination” would create a global leader in connectivity. The tie up, if it happens, needs to be seen as revolutionary by any count. But then, it would also trigger some stiff competition as Elon and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos have already taken a giant leap into the arena. Bezos has even announced plans to launch 3,200 satellites, and is pumping in $10 billion to his Project Kuiper.

Besides, nations like China are also thinking big when it comes to satellite broadband. China is lining up the launch of close to 13,000 satellites called Guowang, while the European Union looks to send to space as many as 250 satellites by 2024.

Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »

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