Wireless

Wireless / Featured Blogs

From Loon to Taara: Google’s Moonshot Delivering Wireless Backhaul

You may recall a number of years ago when Google experimented with delivering broadband from balloons in an effort labeled Project Loon. The project was eventually dropped, but a remnant of the project has now resurfaced as Taara - broadband delivered terrestrially by lasers. more

Space-Ground Optical (Laser) Communication

SpaceX is equipping its new satellites with inter-satellite laser links (ISLLs). They now have over 8,000 optical terminals in orbit (3 per satellite) and they communicate at up to 100 Gbps. The other low-Earth orbit Internet service providers will follow SpaceX's lead. more

Starlink Promising Satellite Cellular Service: A Possible Game-Changer for Remote Areas and Outdoor Enthusiasts

Starlink recently launched a new webpage that advertises the future ability to deliver text, voice, and data to 4G cell phones via satellite. The texting service is supposed to be available in 2024, with voice and data coming in 2025. The service will require a user to have a view of the open sky. more

Is There a Role for ICANN in Satellite Internet Governance?

A recent invitation to participate in a webinar to discuss ICANN's Role in Satellite Internet Governance as an enabler of UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 9 prompted me to consider this issue. As a legal scholar with expertise in telecommunications infrastructure, I had much to say and discuss about the new mega-constellation phenomenon and its potential role in achieving SDG9, which, for me, is a multifaceted and fascinating subject. more

Satellite Broadband Rivals: Beyond Starlink’s Dominance

Starlink gets almost all of the satellite press in the U.S., which is fair since the company now serves many homes and RVs with broadband. The company currently has over 4,600 active satellites in orbit, and if it sticks with its original business plan, it will eventually have 30,000. But there are a few other satellite companies working in the broadband space that don't get the press. more

In Search of the Killer 5G App

AT&T and Comcast recently joined forces and joined the 5G Open Innovation Lab. This is a venture that has been funding start-ups and others working in 5G research. Along with looking to improve 5G edge technology, a primary goal of the OAI Lab is to search for killer apps for 5G. The two big companies join the other founding members of the effort, which includes Dell, Intel, Microsoft, Deloitte, and Nokia. more

Will Telesat Survive?

In 2017, Telesat, an established Canadian geostationary satellite operator, announced a planned low-Earth orbit Internet service constellation. The plan called for 117 satellites with inter-satellite laser links in a mix of inclined and polar orbits, enabling global coverage. more

Google Bard Fails to Answer Satellite Internet Questions

In an earlier post, I asked whether electronically steered antennas (ESAs) would replace parabolic antennas in satellite ground stations. I did some research and concluded that it is likely that they will. Next, I discussed the same question with ChatGPT and, while it made several false statements, it made a relevant point that I had overlooked. The relevant addition was positive, but the errors were troublesome, so I decided to try ChatGPT's competitor Google Bard. more

Using 42 GHz Spectrum for Broadband

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission circulated draft rules to govern the lower 42 GHz spectrum (between 42-42.5 GHz). This is within the range of spectrum referred to as millimeter wave spectrum. This is one of the more unusual FCC spectrum deliberations because this spectrum is totally empty -- there is nobody currently authorized by the FCC to use the spectrum band. The FCC is starting this deliberation with a clean slate. more

Will Electronically Steered Antennas Replace Parabolic Antennas in Satellite Ground Stations? (ChatGPT-Assisted Version)

In a previous post, I asked whether electronically steered antennas (ESAs) would replace parabolic antennas in satellite ground stations. I read a few articles suggested by others and by Google search, used some common sense, produced a list of advantages of ESAs, and concluded that it was likely they would eventually replace parabolic antennas for many applications. more