On top of the existing O3b satellite constellation, Iridium’s 66-satellite package, and others promised by the likes of OneWeb, SpaceX, and even media players such as Google hinting at plans, yet another is proposed constellation is now in the development stage.
India’s Astrome Technologies says it wants a 150 satellite constellation to be in orbit by 2020. Astrome says it has in sight a low-cost, high-speed broadband service to girdle the Earth. “Not only India, but the entire belt of developing nations will have high-speed Internet after the launch of our satellite,” said Neha Satak, CEO, Astrome Technologies. “We are working on the prototype of the first satellite, which will be unveiled to the public in December.”
What Satak characterised as “the developing nation belt” includes Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Middle East, Africa, and parts of Mexico; all of which would be powered with 50 to 400 Mbps speeds. How does the technology work? The working principle is similar to that of a home DTH television. The user simply has to install a STB and an antenna on the rooftop of the building to enable satellite Internet service.
About 150 satellites weighing 120 kg each would be orbiting the Earth, taking turns in Internet beaming, thereby forming a network in space. With the first satellite scheduled for launch in 2018, Astrome is currently in talks with different segments of the markets to provide this Internet service.
The CTO of Astrome Technologies, Prasad HL Bhat, indicated that the launching the satellite and testing it will be our top priority—once the network is operational, all the stakeholders from education to healthcare can make use of the solution.