The US military is looking to modernize its satellites with new and upgraded equipment.As the US prepares to launch its newest military satellite, the Air Force is developing a new type of satellite that is smaller and lighter than the older versions, and has higher capacity to provide broadband internet access.However, it is still not yet clear which satellite internet equipment will be included ...
Satellite internet gets further and further away from the mainstream, but its main competitor, the traditional cable modem, is also getting closer to becoming a relic of the past.
A satellite internet service provider (SISP) has just announced plans to sell its own modem, which it says will become a major selling point for consumers in the years to come.
The company, which is based in the United States and plans to launch a similar service next year, says it is hoping to make a profit by selling its equipment to businesses that want to offer broadband to their staffs.
But the satellite internet companies say they need more competition from the internet service providers (ISPs) that offer internet to the average consumer.
“We think this is going to help us compete with ISPs in the US and other places,” said John Henson, president of the Satellite Internet Alliance.
“It will give us the flexibility to offer a much higher quality service.”
The SISP says the modem will cost between $200 and $400 (£145 and £215) but the most popular model, the 1.6 GHz, is available for about $300.
It is expected to launch later this year.
It also plans to use the modem to sell Internet telephony services.
“With the increase in broadband speeds, the need to manage bandwidth is increasing and we want to be able to offer that service to our customers,” said Chris Pyle, the SISR’s executive vice president of business development.
“The modem is our gateway to this new world.”
The modem is made by SISp and is based on a 3G modem that is used to connect to mobile broadband networks.
SISr, which was founded by former Apple engineer Peter Diamandis, is a joint venture between two companies, Xfinity Communications and NextCom Wireless, which also sell satellite internet equipment.
The modem costs about $100 to build and it comes with a battery pack and modem adapter that are only about $30 each.
Mr Henson said the modem is designed to be a reliable and cost-effective service that will be more affordable for companies in the next five years.
The SisP also plans on selling an IP telephony modem for about the same price.
The satellite internet businesses are hoping that the modem, as well as the IP telephones, will help their competitors in the future, Mr Pyle said.
“For a company that’s building a business around internet access, the modem can be a big selling point,” he said.
The first satellite internet customers will be small businesses, like coffee shops, that have few connections, but Mr Hinson said they would not be the only ones buying the modem.
“These businesses are going to be in the middle of the market,” he added.
Mr Pylas’ SISPR is the second satellite internet provider to announce plans to buy its own hardware.
In May, Telstra said it was buying a 1.4 GHz modem that it says is going “to be a major marketing asset for Telstra’s network”.