5G v/s Satellite Internet Services and with it a Spectrum of Possibilities - AITechTrend

5G v/s Satellite Internet Services and with it a Spectrum of Possibilities

In this article, we will discuss the spectrum of possibilities in India.

India is developing rapidly in providing Internet services to many parts of India. Companies in the telecom sector are planning to invest in satellite internet technology in India. Satellite Internet is used by companies to provide seamless Internet connection to rural areas as the Internet is provided using communication satellites there in space. Through this, it can reach areas that cannot receive Internet using cables or fibre optics. Indian Space Association is also pushing the central government to allow subsidiaries for companies like Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Starlink to satellite communication providers through the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). Right now, India has over millions of internet users spread across the country and this new development in Internet technology of India has opened a spectrum of possibilities for the telecoms sector.  After 5G services were launched in India it has now attracted many opportunities for business and investment from big tech companies across the world. It has also increased mobile and Internet users in India in the last two to three years. Many businesses in India have also gone digital and have increased their profits by attracting more customers and have also introduced themselves to the rest of the world.

India’s Journey in Internet

The Internet journey in India in 1986 when the government introduced the Educational Research Network (ERNET). This project was the result of the Department of Electronics and the United Nations Development Program. With this VSNL provided Internet to the public on 15 August 1995. After this, slowly companies entered the digital world in India as Rediff the first company to open a cyber café and ICICI the first to launch Internet banking in 1997. In 1998 private Internet Service Providers started to enter the sector and India recorded its first hacking incident. IRCTC went online and slowly more sites were launched in India and the IT Act was passed.

As the years passed there was no significant growth in India as they followed the trend which was followed by the world. In 2008 2G and in 2009 3G services were launched and WiMax was auctioned in 2010 after the 2G scam. Since 2014 Internet has been delivered to India via undersea fibers that are called as Bay of Bengal Gateway and Europe India Gateway. The undersea fibre links have 5 different landing points. India has one overland Internet connection in the city of Agartala. Recently Indian government has launched projects such as BharatNet, and Digital India to boost the use of the Internet among people. The Indian government is taking steps and also supporting businesses to go digital and increase their income all the government processes are also going digital and have saved a lot of time for the citizens of India.

5G services in India

Recently India launched its first 5G service and with that telecom companies have started to roll out 5G services to its customers. This is a wireless connection but needs cell towers that are connected to a fibre optic source. The wavelength of 5G is about 1000 feet and to relay the network it needs cell towers and antennas for strong signals in the area. The speed of the Internet through these towers can go further than 1GBPS on a good day. Cell towers have problems like proximity and network congestion that can hinder the speed and sometimes even the Internet speed.

Satellite Internet

Satellite Internet services need three crucial parts. They first need satellites that rotate the earth in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) or Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). They send the Internet via radio waves to the ground where different gateways or stations are located which receive and send Internet data to satellites via radio waves.  Then the final one is consumer antennae which is a different ground station that serves each user and is equipped with a transceiver and a small antenna.

Before installation of a satellite Internet service, there is a check of the area’s eligibility by an engineer and after approval, they will install a satellite dish, router and modem that are mostly rented or purchased from a satellite company. After the installation is complete the user checks whether the Internet meets the standards set by the government. This technology does not have the adequate speed which is needed for VoIP calls and online gaming but can reach places that are very rural and are covered with untamed areas. This technology is also useful to provide Internet services to places that are covered with rough seas.  The satellite Internet service operates with Star network topology through which all the network communication passes through a single network hub processor that is the centre of the star-based configuration ground stations. This means that there is no need to set up cell towers in all the areas as you can install satellite dishes that cover an area and providers can provide seamless Internet to their customers. The only drawback of this technology is that the skies need to be clear and the weather needs to be good for seamless Internet service.

5G v/s Satellite Internet Services

After the launch of 5G services in India by the government and also test beds by PM Modi many companies have started to invest and some are even planning to enter the market of satellite Internet services in India. They are also backed by the government by planning to ease the process of approval for satellite launches in India. The companies are now leaning towards satellite broadband services in India by using geostationary and MEO satellites. Indian satellite GSAT-24 had been launched into space using the European launch vehicle Ariane-5 from the Kourou Spaceport in French Guiana. There are companies like Starlink and Amazon’s Kuiper are also waiting for approval from the government to enter the market. Starlink has launched LEO satellites to start providing internet service using these satellites.