Another company has entered into the growing competition of satellite internet projects. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given a go-ahead to Boeing for its satellite internet project. The largest aerospace company had first proposed the project in 2017. With the green signal from the FCC, the aerospace company can now start building, launching, and providing broadband internet from space. The company will have some tough competition from SpaceX and Amazon. Under the project, Boeing will send 132 satellites into low Earth orbit. These satellites would be placed at an altitude of 656 miles or 1,056 kilometers. It will also be launching 15 satellites into ‘non-geostationary orbit. They will be placed at an altitude between 16,998 to 27,478 miles.
Boeing said that the company will use these satellites to provide internet facilities in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Amid the target customers of the company would be residential consumers along with government and business users. The company has said that all its satellites would broadcast in the V-band. Starlink network of SpaceX is using the Ka and Ku bands – a lower frequency slice of the wireless spectrum than the V-band. Project Kuiper, which is yet to be deployed, of Amazon, will also use the Ka and Ku bands.
The benefit of the V-band is that it capable of allowing faster data transfer rates. But because of higher frequencies, it runs a greater risk of interference. This is mainly because higher frequencies face more trouble while penetrating solid objects. Other companies too want to use the V-band but only in the future. Starlink and OneWeb have already spoken about using higher frequency in some future satellites. On the other hand, Ka and Ku bands are used to provide in-flight internet on commercial airlines. Meanwhile, Boeing has not said anything about the timeline by when it is expecting to launch the satellites. It has also not said anything about the capabilities of those satellites. Several companies are working on developing internet satellite services. But it will take a while before we actually get to use these services.