The satellite tv for pc web antenna from Amazon reached 400 Mbit / s when examined

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For years, satellite internet has been a last resort for people who live in remote areas. SpaceX has made waves with its new Starlink service to select regions with much higher speeds than traditional satellite connections – testers report up to 150 Mbit / s less. Amazon believes it can do better with its new antenna technology. The company says its prototype for satellite internet is currently managing 400Mbps, but we don’t know when consumers will be able to test it.

You’ve probably heard of people dealing with satellite internet from companies like HughesNet and Viasat. Most likely, they weren’t happy with the several seconds of latency and anemic speed, but it’s better than nothing. This is what SpaceX called its Starlink beta this year: Better than nothing. Starlink is currently limited to the northern United States and southern Canada and requires a hefty setup fee of $ 500. This includes the company’s satellite dish, which is connected to the network via the Ka radio band.

Amazon’s upcoming Project Kuiper service will be similar to Starlink, but the company claims its prototype Ka-Phased Array antenna will give it the edge. Amazon’s goal is to reduce the size and cost of hardware. After all, every customer needs one to access the Kuiper network. However, this is difficult with Ka-band devices, which, due to the far-reaching frequencies, require a stronger physical separation between transmitting (27-30 GHz) and receiving hardware (17-20 GHz).

Amazon’s new prototype antenna uses stacked wireless elements, something that has never been possible with Ka-band hardware. The entire apparatus is only 12 inches in diameter, one-third the size of the old Ka-shell designs. It makes up for the small size by electronically directing Ka rays at satellites flying overhead. This is how Amazon manages such high speeds in its tests. If real world speeds can be kept anywhere near the 400Mbps found in this test, Kuiper could be a viable alternative, even for users in urban areas who have wired internet access.

It won’t be an easy task to go beyond the prototype phase. Last summer, Amazon received FCC approval to launch 3,236 low-earth orbital satellites for the Kuiper project. SpaceX is already approaching 1,000 thanks to easy access to Falcon 9 rockets. Amazon hasn’t announced a schedule for its satellite constellation launch, but its regulatory approval calls for the entire network to be operational by 2029. Amazon would only need 578 satellites to offer its service. Perhaps Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin can help with that.

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