back to article Virgin, Qualcomm, back 600-satellite space internet plan

WorldVu, an outfit that last year looked to have Elon Musk and Google backing its vision for a fleet of broadband-beaming low-earth orbit satellites, has scored support from Virgin Group and Qualcomm. Now operating as OneWeb Ltd, but still helmed by former Google man Greg Wyler, the plan now calls for 648 satellites instead of …

  1. Chris Miller

    Sun-Synchronous Orbit

    Isn't that a strange number to quote, unless you're hoping that someone will misread it as geosynchronous? There's a quite limited demand for sun-synchronous satellites (mostly IR earth observatories).

    1. Julz Silver badge

      Re: Sun-Synchronous Orbit

      Not if your the NRO.

      1. Chris Miller
        Happy

        Re: Sun-Synchronous Orbit

        I think the NRO have their own launchers :)

  2. Greg D

    Latency?

    Isn't satellite broadband inherently latent? Delays over a second on a round trip?

    I'd rather 56k latencies tbh. At least I could game on that, just barely.

    1. Steve Todd

      Re: Latency?

      That's because existing satellites are in geostationary orbit, much higher up at about 22,000 miles. A ping therefore requires a round trip of at least 88,000 miles (up to the bird, down to the ground station, to the server, back to the ground station, up to the bird and back to the sender), or about 1/2 second latency at the speed of light. This is reduced to a minimum of 3000 miles (of about 16ms) with this system

    2. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Latency?

      Yes, but most people aren't particularly worried about that. Latency isn't a problem for things like streaming video and posting shit on Twitbook, and there are plenty of people who would be much happier with high bandwidth and latency and they are with their current low latency and close to zero bandwidth.

  3. Steve Todd

    $2bn in launch costs

    Assumes $10,800 per pound to launch, which isn't unreasonable. SpaceX are aiming to get costs below $1000 per pound, so my guess is that they will get most of the work launching clusters of satellites at a time.

  4. Mage Silver badge

    O3B

    Also less latency than Geostationary. More speed/Capacity than LEO (Iridium).

    The lower the orbit, the faster the satellite appears to whizz past and the more time the terminal spends switching links.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O3b_%28satellite%29

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