Ka Band VSAT* satellite internet technology has enormous possibilities for telecommuters, rural locations and eventually for Motor Home users around the U.S. - if it works! Ka Band satellite internet is an all new approach to sending and receiving internet traffic from space (satellites used for internet are at least 23,000 miles from Earth). *Very small aperture terminal.
The key improvements in Ka band technology from the "blanket" approach used up to now are:
1. Ka Band employs "spot beams" rather than broadcasting over an entire Continent?.a far more efficient use of the available bandwidth resulting in lower monthly service cost to end users (as low as $49 per mo.).
2. Ka Band doesn't require a very large dish (the dish is about the size of a trash can lid) to produce high speed internet in either direction (downloads & uploads are very fast), resulting in a lower equipment cost to consumers.
3. Ka Band uses technology that drastically lowers latency (the "lag" created by data traveling all the way to space and back).
When available, Ka band will enable remote teleworkers and consumer users to surf, work and email successfully at speeds approaching DSL & Cable for roughly $450-$650 for equipment and $49.00 to $95.00 per month for service. Users can expect download speeds at roughly 1500 kbps (kilobits per second) and upload speeds from 128-256 kbps, more than enough to handle most any work or leisure scenario. The cost is higher than DSL and Cable but when you can't get anything but dial-up, the cost might well be worth it for the 20,000,000 or so folks out there with nothing but a phone (if that!). Another benefit of this technology is users will now be able to take advantage of Voice over IP (using the internet to make regular phone calls). Current satellite technology (Direcway and Starband) has too much inherent latency to allow successful VOIP, unless you are willing to say "over" like a walkie-talkie connection, after each sentence! I currently make unlimited calls Nationwide for a flat cost of $25.00 per month and nobody can tell the difference in voice quality. I can call Europe for about $.03 per minute or less! The savings are big, but for some rural homeowners it might be the only telephone service they are able to get.
The service will initially be offered by Wild Blue Communications, a Denver based company, owned by several major Media outfits. Two other companies, SES Americom and Echostar have indicated they will join in the fray by next year. They are planning to start offering service sometime in the 2nd Quarter of 2005??.but I don't expect it to be universally available until late in 2005. I will have monthly updates on the progress they are making at: www.vsatus.com . If you have been waiting for super fast internet service, your ship might have finally come in!
About the Author:
Randy Scott has been involved in the bidirectional satellite internet industry from it's beginning as a Sr. Sales Engineer, consultant and business owner. Randy is the founder of VSAT U.S., a consulting and sales agent, representing the most prestigious satellite internet providers in the U.S. For more information about Ka Band technology or current VSAT satellite internet offerings, visit http://www.vsatus.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org .