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Starlink Comes to Africa - Markets and Competition

SpaceX Starlink Internet service will be available in several African nations in the second quarter of this year, and the price in Nigeria has been announced -- $600 for the "residential" terminal and a monthly fee of $43. Is there a market for Starlink at that price in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African nations? The IMF projects a GDP per capita of $2,580 for Nigeria this year (and $1,900 in Sub-Saharan Africa and $2,260 for Africa overall) so the market for individual consumer accounts will be much smaller than in what the IMF refers to as "advanced economies." more

Getting Serious About Satellite Texting

One of the more interesting telecom announcements at the CES electronics show in Vegas was the announcement from the partnership of Qualcomm and Iridium of plans to bring satellite texting capability to many more cell phones and other devices. We've already seen a few other announcements recently of the ability to make emergency text calls when out of reach of cell coverage. more

The Disappointment of 5G

Karl Bode recently wrote an excellent article highlighting the overhyping of wireless technologies. He's right, and for the last twenty years, we've been told that a world-changing wireless technology is coming soon, but none ever materialized. No wireless technology has been a bigger flop than 5G when comparing the hype to the eventual reality. The hype for 5G was amazingly over-the-top. more

A New Definition of 6G

We now know how wireless carriers are going to continue the string of new G generations of cellular technology. 5G was originally defined to include spectrum up to 90 GHz or 100 GHz. In the last few years, international standards bodies have been developing new 6G standards in what is called the terahertz wavelengths between 100 GHz and 1 THz. more

The Short History of the Internet: From ARPANET to the Metaverse

Last Saturday marked the 53rd anniversary of the Internet. While the vast majority of its five billion users have been online for less than a decade, the Internet was taken into use on October 29th, 1969, when two computers connected to the ARPANET exchanged a message. Although the Internet has been around for a while, it remained below most people's radar until the late 1990s when the dot com boom started. more

Aalyria, a Space Internet Startup With Nearly a Decade’s Worth of Intellectual Property From Alphabet

Aalyria, a new space Internet company, just burst out of stealth mode. It is based on work done on Alphabet's "moonshot" Project Loon and Alphabet transferred almost a decade's worth of technology IP, patents, office space, and other assets to Aalyria in return for an equity stake in the company. Spacetime is Aalyria's intelligent network orchestration technology, and Tightbeam is its advanced atmospheric laser communications technology. more

SpaceX Introduces Affordability-Based Starlink Pricing

When SpaceX announced the price of the Starlink service, Elon Musk said it would be the same everywhere but I wrote that eventually it would be priced to be affordable in different nations. (If you predict enough things, you are bound to get something right). The fixed cost of a satellite Internet constellation is high -- satellites are expensive to make and launch -- but the cost of adding and servicing a new customer is low, and the market is global. more

Kyiv Independent Reports on Starlink in Ukraine

"Saint Elon" is a bit much but ... It started with a tweet from Ukraine's Minister of Digital Transformation. The quoted text below is excerpts from How Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet keeps Ukraine online in The Kyiv Independent. "Among the Ukrainian military, Elon Musk, the richest tech entrepreneur in the U.S., is often half-jokingly referred to as 'Saint Elon.'. The reason is Starlink, Musk's satellite communication system that keeps many Ukrainians, most importantly the military... more

“Africa & Latin America, It’s All Huawei” – End-To-End Manufacturing Drives the Cost Down

A rival tells me how hard it is to compete with Huawei because they manufacture so many products. “We had a good opportunity at one customer. Our software is just right for them. “They wanted to buy a complete system. We bundled our software with $4 million of equipment and bid aggressively at $7 million. Huawei came in with a bid of $4 million for hardware and software combined. They manufacture their own servers at a much lower cost than he could buy servers. more

OneWeb and Intelsat Sign the First Multi-Orbit Broadband Agreement – More to Come

Last October, I reviewed multi-orbit tests and plans of several low Earth orbit (LEO), medium Earth orbit (MEO), and Geostationary (GEO) broadband satellite companies and quoted Neil Masterson, CEO of LEO operator OneWeb as saying, "Interoperability with GEO satellites must happen - it's common sense ... Customers don't care whether it's a LEO satellite or a GEO satellite - all they want is connectivity." more

FCC Nixes Starlink and LTD Broadband

On August 10, the FCC issued a press release denying the long-form applications of Starlink and LTD Broadband in the RDOF reverse auction. This is big news because these are two of the biggest winners of the reverse auction. LTD Broadband was the largest winner of the auctions at $1.32 billion, while Starlink had claimed over $885 million in the auction. more

SpaceX Starlink’s Variable Pricing Pilot in France Is Good Business and Good Karma

Starlink is available in 37 nations, and the price for best effort service was the same everywhere until August 3, when variable pricing with throttling became available in France. I predicted they would eventually shift from uniform to affordable pricing some time ago, but why did they do it now? Starlink first became available in the U.S. and Canada, and sales are beginning to outrun the available capacity. more

Bigger, Faster, Better (and Cheaper!)

Let's take a second to look back some 50 years to the world of 1972 and the technology and telecommunications environment at that time. The world of 1972 was one populated by a relatively small collection of massive (and eye-wateringly expensive) mainframe computers that were tended by a set of computer operators working around the clock and directed by specialized programmers, trained in the obscure symbol set used by the job control systems on these computers. more

Starlink Sales Are Straining Capacity in Parts of the U.S. And Canada

On June 5th Elon Musk said SpaceX had nearly 500,000 customers in 32 nations and 9 languages. By now, there must be 500,000 customers, most of whom are in the U. S. and Canada, and their performance is suffering. In the first quarter of this year, OOKLA reported that the median Starlink download speed fell from 104.97 to 99.55 Mbps in the U.S. and from 106.64 to 97.4 Mbps in Canada. more

Bringing Broadband to the Arctic

The Arctic region has largely been left out of the broadband arena in the past due to the high cost of building last-mile broadband infrastructure. The primary broadband available in the region has been provided for decades by Iridium Communications, which provided only low-bandwidth connections capable of supporting satellite phones and low-bandwidth monitoring devices. more

News Briefs

Iran Disrupts Internet Access During University Entrance Exams

Government of India Gives the Go-Ahead for 5G Technology and Spectrum Trials, Avoids Chinese Firms

Alphabet to Shut down Loon, its Balloon Based Internet Access Project

U.S. Military Is Buying Location Data of People Around the World Through Ordinary Apps

SpaceX Gets FCC’s Approval to Bid in a Federal Auction for Rural-Broadband Funding

First Round of U.S. Layoffs Due to Huawei Blockade

China Accuses Washington of Damaging Global Trade With Huawei Sanctions

The Defense Department Opening Large Areas of Mid-Band Spectrum to Help US Compete With China in 5G

UK Bans Huawei 5G Equipment, Also Orders 5G Kit to Be Removed From UK Networks by 2027

Google to Invest $10 Billion in India to Help Accelerate Its Digital Economy

Alphabet’s Loon Goes Live With Its Commercial Internet Service in Kenya

FCC Proposes Over $200 Million in Fines Against Four Largest Wireless Carriers

FCC Gives Google, Sony and Others Full Authorization for Commercial Deployment of 3.5 GHz Spectrum

Germany’s New Rules for Developing 5G Mobile Networks Will Not Exclude China’s Huawei Technologies

EU Member States Release Report on Coordinated Risk Assessment on Cybersecurity in 5G Networks

Wi-Fi Alliance Launches Wi-Fi 6 Certification Program

Google Showing Signs of Increased Concerns Over Rising Data Privacy Scrutiny

Study Reveals U.S. Carriers Throttle Online Video on Their Mobile Networks Even When Not Congested

Huawei Launches Its Own Operating System, Says Its Completely Different From Android and iOS

Greece Announces Plans to Install Free Public Wi-Fi Nationwide

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WiMAX vs. WiFi

Internet Governance: An Antispam Perspective

IPv6: Extinction, Evolution or Revolution?

New Mobile Domain Another Bad Idea

Verizon Mandates IPv6 Support for Next-Gen Cell Phones

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