How satellite internet connectivity works?

It is a method of accessing the internet using communication satellites orbiting the Earth.

Satellite internet works by transmitting and receiving data signals between user equipment (such as satellite dishes) and communication satellites in space.

Here’s how satellite internet connectivity works:

  1. Upstream and Downstream Communication: Satellite internet involves two-way communication: upstream and downstream. Upstream communication refers to data sent from the user’s equipment (like a computer or smartphone) to the satellite, while downstream communication refers to data sent from the satellite to the user’s equipment.

  2. User Equipment:To access satellite internet, users need a satellite dish (also called a VSAT dish) installed at their location. The dish is equipped with a transceiver that can transmit and receive signals to and from the satellite.

  3. Satellite Constellation: Satellite internet providers deploy a constellation of communication satellites in orbit around the Earth. These satellites are strategically positioned to cover specific geographical areas. The satellites are often in geostationary orbit, where they remain fixed relative to a specific point on the Earth’s surface.

  4. Data Transmission: When a user requests data, such as loading a webpage, the request is sent from their device to the satellite dish. The dish then transmits the request signal to the nearest communication satellite in the constellation.

  5. Data Routing: The communication satellite receives the request signal, processes it, and routes it to the appropriate ground station on Earth. The ground station is a facility with large antennas that are equipped to communicate with satellites in orbit.

  6. Internet Backbone: At the ground station, the request is relayed to the global internet backbone, which is a high-speed network infrastructure that interconnects various data centers and networks around the world.

  7. Data Retrieval: The requested data is retrieved from the internet and sent back to the ground station. The ground station then transmits the data signal to the satellite, which relays it to the user’s satellite dish.

  8. User Access: The satellite dish receives the data signal and passes it to the user’s device, which displays the requested content on the screen.

It’s important to note that satellite internet connectivity has some unique characteristics:

  • Latency:Satellite internet can have higher latency (signal delay) compared to terrestrial connections due to the long distance that signals must travel between the Earth and the satellites in space.

Speed: Modern satellite technology has significantly improved data speeds, but they can still be affected by factors like the satellite’s position, weather conditions, and the number of users sharing the same satellite.

Source: Mohamed Darkedima on LinkedIn: #satellite_internet_connectivity #5g #telecom #satellite #technology

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I heard that mobile devices will be directly connected to Satellites which will be game changer.

Optus has announced voice services on Satellite in 2025.

What about base stations which already installed?

Satellite phones are already operational but limited to use in disaster management.

It will be normal like mobile devices in future with thousands of LEO satellite launch by Starlink.

If launched, connectivity in regional/rural areas will not be a problem.

However, traditional telcos are at risk if the plans will be cheaper for satellites.

I hope so but this will be a compete against manufacturers of satellite phones.

The advantage of Cell Based networks is that the same Frequency Assets are re-used again and again for a given area.

We are yet to see any satellite based technologies that come anywhere close to this efficiency.

So don’t hold your breath.

Voice services are vulnerable against latency too much, how it will be transmitted via satellite?

Data looks more promising.

SMS and disaster services make sense but voice…huh myth

Voice service works fine if satellite is used as backhaul for a BTS site.

I configured GSM with satellite years ago.

Quality matters.

I think it’s the mobility that is going to be an issue.

It’s clear that our legacy cellular operators can’t survive in the current business model.

Giving more speed and more discounts on voice will not help.

Satellite communications will thrive only if they give something other than the communication layer.

I think Starlink will let all it’s customers to transfer money using X app.

The biggest challenge of today is cross border payments.

Good point.

I have worked with satellite media for 4-5 years in isolated islands where only backhaul available was satellite in C-band with latency of 500 ms.

Voice traffic was working through E1 and quality was good enough.

Only call set up delay was little bit high.

If you’re in Brazil and need to send money on Saturday morning to your vendor in Canada, you cannot do it till Monday.

Legacy cellular operators can not offer cross border payments.

They are offering mobile banking for domestic payments. But margins are very small in domestic payments.

The juice is in cross border payments.

Yeah, for islands and very rural areas, it is acceptable.

Agree. For cities Not.

Surely no one will opt for it when you have high capacity optical fibre.

Latency one way over 150 ms is a problem.

Satellite can still provide services in airplane and ships where the internet and voice service is still inaccessible.

I guess it’s not just technical limitation but concerned with financial security as well.

Everyone goes through KYC when buying contracts for SIM.

That’s why cellular operators are able to get license for mobile banking at the first place.