The space race is intensifying, and companies such as Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and SpaceX are leading the race to get into space. This is in a bid to provide internet to some of the remotest places on earth. This 21st-century space race involves thousands of satellites.
Satellite internet for remote areas
A couple of tech companies have requested permission from US regulators to run satellite constellations to offer internet. However, not all companies are focusing on connecting consumers, as some have huge global ambitions. For Amazon, according to their CEO Jeff Bezos, the goal is to get broadband everywhere.
Almost half of the world’s population is not connected to the internet, and this is a massive potential. Getting internet to people in remote areas will be beneficial to the people in many ways. For instance, the lacks of the internet make it hard for people in remote areas to access healthcare as well as make job applications. This cuts this population from the taking part in growing the economy.
However, the new race for space powered internet faces a myriad of challenges. For starters, it is costly to launch and complex technology-wise which could prove to be expensive for the people it is supposed to help.
More companies in the race
Currently, companies such as HughesNet and ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) dominate satellite internet segment. However, the service these satellites offer is costly and limited, and it comes with lags and data caps. The entry of Amazon and SpaceX in the domain could change the space. Other companies in the race include OneWeb backed by Virgin Atlantic owner Richard Branson, Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Softbank Group (OTCMKTS: SFTBY) a Japanese conglomerate.
This is an industry that is still growing and still some years away from mainstream commercial adoption. It is an industry that will be profitable in the next decade. However, these companies will need to develop antennas and dishes that are expensive and complicated relative top traditional dishes. For instance, SpaceX has sought permission to build earth stations to help in connecting users to the internet.