Due to the high cost of last-mile broadband infrastructure, the Arctic has largely been left out of the loop. CircleID reported that historically, Iridium Communications had offered low-bandwidth connections and was the only option available. However, additional satellite broadband providers — Starlink, OneWeb, Telesat, SES, The Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM), and The Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) — are entering the market to spur competition.
Starlink and OneWeb already have polar-orbiting satellites in place to serve the area. Telesat has partnered with the Canadian government to connect to indigenous communities, reported CircleID. The deal brings $690 million in preferred equity, $790 million in loans, and $400 million from the Quebec government to Telesat Lightspeed to complete its low-orbit satellite constellation, which will begin with 298 satellites to deliver speeds up to a gigabit across Canada.
SES plans to launch a fleet of medium-earth-orbit satellites by the end of the year. SES will provide high-bandwidth connections to remote places and eventually connect cruise ships, cellular towers, and government networks.
The Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission, fulfilled by a joint venture between Northop Grumman, Inmarsat, the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, and the U.S. Air Force, will launch additional satellites. Moreover, two satellites are slated to launch by the end of 2022, providing cellular phone service and supporting the military. The RSCC announced plans to launch four satellites within a few years to serve the far north polar regions.
The post New Entrants to the Arctic Freeze-Out Current Broadband Offerings appeared first on Inside Towers.