Samsung enters ‘internet for all’ race with global satellite plan

19 Aug 2015

Joining a host of other major competitors, Samsung has just entered the race to provide high-speed internet for everyone on the planet, penning a report on a satellite solution.

Farooq Khan, president of Samsung Research America, wrote of the company’s plans to interconnect a network of 4,600 low-orbit satellites.

Should it come to fruition, Khan said he believes this could provide one zetabyte per month to the world’s 5bn internet users — that equates to 20Gb/month, per person.

Khan said that the cost of this could be offset by co-locating bases with already established large data centres.

Internet for all

“By year 2028, both cellular and Wi-Fi will be carrying data traffic in excess of one zetabyte per month,” said Khan. “Our goal here is to design a space internet with similar capacity.”

“We believe that our space internet proposal will bring us one step closer to connect and empower the whole humankind.”

Internet for all: Samsung plans

And then there were five

For this proposal to be executed, though, Samsung faces four firmly established challengers.

The most eye-catching example, perhaps, is Google’s Project Loon. The company has been throwing up loads of prototype hot air balloons to work out how they react to the elements, hoping one day to dot them all over the skies to beam down high-speed WiFi.

Facebook, for its part, is looking towards ‘internet planes’, successfully testing out a variation in the UK earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Richard Branson is backing OneWeb’s project, which is quite similar to Samsung’s plans.

So too, it seems, is Elon Musk’s. The SpaceX owner wants to send a similar number of satellites into the skies, going so far as requesting permission to spray them out from the Falcon9 rocket usually used to send supplies up to the ISS.

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic