E Tu, Samsung? Another Constellation May Be Taking Shape

logo_samsungKorean manufacturing giant Samsung may be adding its name to the list of companies proposing massive satellite constellations to meet the seemingly insatiable need for internet broadband, particularly in parts of the world where wired solutions are problematic.

In a technical paper, Samsung President for R&D America, Farooq Khan details a proposal for a LEO constellation of up to 4,600 satellites designed to provide a net data capacity of:

“one Zetabyte/ month or 200GB/month for 5 Billion users Worldwide with signal latencies comparable to those offered by ground based systems.” The system would be based on the 5g standard. .

Unlike the OneWeb venture which is actively underway, and SpaceX’s own satellite project which is just getting started, the Samsung effort is at this point just a proposal. Nevertheless, given the potential customer base, Samsung’s economic muscle and the popularity of its Galaxy phones, it is not terribly difficult to envision why this may be appealing.

For NewSpace advocates, one exciting prospect is the forcing function a move to wide-spread satellite internet could provide across the launch industry. With SpaceX pursuing both its own satellite project as well as first stage re-usability, launch prices could turn out to be a key factor in determining which ventures succeed, and which fall short. In that context. the addition of yet another potential operator with a large constellation needing to get to orbit could prove an important factor in motivating someone to join SpaceX in the pursuit of rocketry’s still elusive Holy Grail.

Posted in: Space Commerce

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