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Satellite Internet : the next level of internet

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Food, cloth & shelter used to be the 3 basic needs of man. But today, a 4th need has arised. The Internet, which keep us connected with all our friends (social networking), the world (news), channels of entertainment, shopping, information & provides the solution of every problem (through search engines). In the coming future, we cannot think of life without Internet. But, have you ever thought about how it works? Yes, the world is connected with long length, fast speed fibre optical cables for internet. But think about some remote location, where life is not easy and nor is connection with the rest of the world. A place like some desert, or an island in the middle of an Ocean, or somewhere in Antarctica or even in the air on a plane. Fibre optical wires cannot reach everywhere. So, what do we do in that case. We have to think about something, which can cover the whole earth. Satellites. Satellite is one of the solutions, which can help us to solve our problem of providing internet in remote locations. Satellite internet is going to become popular because you can use internet in aeroplanes as well, where your mobiles are almost dead, from its main functionality. In long flights to keep in touch with rest of the world, Satellite Internet is the option. Let us look how this mode of communication works.articlesSatellite Internet works on the basis of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service). So, instead of connecting with BTS (which cannot be available in sea or air) with handset mobile set, here we directly connect with satellite with User Terminal (unlike the usual wireless communication). User Terminals are of many types. Few are given below, which you may have seen on some maritime ships, military stations, reporter vans. Flat user Terminal is a rectangular box & it is fixed in one direction. So we have to manually adjust the UT in proper direction to get good signal strength whereas fleet terminal can rotate in all direction to find the satellite itself. Mainly it is used on ships.

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User Terminal is not required for each individual user. For a whole network, we can use one user terminal. User Terminal directly communicates with satellite. The signal transferred from satellite to Base station (SGSN or Serving GPRS Support node), which further transfer the signal to GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support node) & then connect with Internet. After receiving the signal on SGSN, it works like GPRS.

Usually, These UT or dishes are on the roof, because it requires clear line of sight between ground terminals to satellite. The signals are impacted by buildings or trees presence on the way of signal. Compared to ground based communication; in satellite internet there is a high Latency i.e. Network is slow because of the distance between User Terminal & satellite. Signals have to travel near about 36000 Km one way. This latency time cannot be reduced but it can be less severe by using the TCP Acceleration feature. This feature reduced the RTT (Round Trip Time) per packet by generating the acknowledgment locally i.e. feedback of packets between sender & receiver. The communication with the satellite is effected by rain, snow, moisture etc. We can increase the Satellite dish size to reduce the amount of data loss in downlink as well as in uplink direction.

As it’s a costly service, so a single link is shared by many users to reduce the burden of cost. In case of fewer users, more bandwidth is available for existing users. But when the congestion is increased, the speed is very limited because of limited bandwidth for each user. Like terrestrial communication networks, satellite internet also having different plan for different types of users like standard (shared), streaming (dedicated), unlimited use.

Advantage:

  1. Portable
  2. Accessible everywhere, even on remote locations (mid of the sea, desert etc.)

Limitation:

  1. Compared to ground based communication, in satellite internet there is high Latency.
  2. Costly because of less availability.
  3. Not suitable for real time applications like online gaming, videoconferencing.
  4. Affected by Rain, snow, high buildings etc.

Users:

Everyone individual can purchase & use satellite internet. But because of its high cost & less speed, normal users are very rare. Main users of Satellite Internet is

  1. Defence agencies like Military, Navy, Air force
  2. News Channels

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