China: 13,000 LEO satellite plan

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China is forming a dedicated business to create and manage a massive fleet of 13,000 Low Earth orbiting (LEO) satellites.

The system is designed to compete – at least locally – with Elon Musk’s Starlink global system. The creation of the new business seems to suggest that Musk will find it impossible to openly seek subscribers in China.

The news of the new business emerged in a brief press release from the Chinese state-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission (SASAC) and says that a new company, China Satellite Network Group Co. Ltd., will be “performing the duties of funder and included in the list of enterprises that perform the duties of funder by SASAC”.

The information from the Chinese is scarce but what is known is that China has formally filed spectrum filings with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for 12,992 satellites ranging in orbital heights from 500kms-1145 kms.


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