Tuesday 18 November 2014

Elon Musk Has New Mission: Provide Cheap Internet Access to the World

Elon Musk
SpaceX has the unique ability of launching stuff’s into space very cheaply and now Elon Musk is ready to capitalize on the same ability. Musk has announced that at present he is working on deployment of a constellation, which will comprise of nearly 700 satellites with the aim of bringing cheap internet access to every person around the world. According to Musk, in terms of finance and ideology, he is more attracted to under connected part of the world like Asia, South America, and Africa but he also agrees to that, the same satellite based internet can be very useful to many rural areas of Europe and North America.

According to the reports released by the Wall Street Journal a few days ago, Musk was also working along with WorldVu on a satellite internet startup, which has slunk out of covertness over the couple of months. Greg Wyler is the person who founded WorldVu; he was also the same person who started O3b. The Company O3b (other 3 billion) is the internet company which was started with the aim of serving internet to people who do not have access to internet at all.

Elon has already confirmed that he is working with SpaceX in forming satellites and they are expecting to make official announcement in the next couple of months. However, there was no confirmation given that WorldVu is working with SpaceX. According to the WSJ reports, both WorldVu and SpaceX are working on the same concept of launching 700 satellites. Each of these satellites will be weighing around 113 kg (250 pounds) and fair into a low altitude orbit of about 800-965km (500-600 miles). Apart from the weight and size, there are no other technical details available about the satellites.


WorldVu has been able to acquire a license from SkyBridge called Ku-band, which is a completely failed internet enterprise. The satellites are being targeted to be placed in 20 orbits with the aim of providing consistent internet all around the world. At present no information has been given out on the speed and the cost of the availing the internet. According to Elon, the internet will be provided at very low cost but very much comparable to the current internet access provided by the expensive satellites.

Satellite Internet Access: 

It has been observed that the internet access from satellites is not only expensive but also very unreliable and slow. This can be attributed to the high cost of satellite building and launch the satellites. Historically launching a single satellite in space costs around $ 50 Million and WorldVu is planning to launch 700, but due to their association with Ku-band, the prices will be low.

If WorldVu and SpaceX are able to provide the cheapest internet access to people around the world, then it will become history. People residing in rural areas and countries can easily signup with these companies and get access to the largest internet service providers.

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