Thursday, November 20, 2008

Google Funds Startup to Bring Cheap Satellite Internet to 3 Billion People

Google is fundingO3B, a company that plans to bring the Internet to those people so far outside of coverage:

Now a new company is seeking to change that. The company, O3B, draws its name from the phrase "other 3 billion" to describe the world's population with no internet coverage. The company, located in U.K.'s Channel Islands, is building 16 satellites thanks to $65M USD in funding from HSBC Principal Investments, a private equity provider; Liberty Global, a service provider for phone and Internet access in 15 countries; and Google. Greg Wyler, O3B's founder and CEO states, "Usage is growing and the demand is growing, but there isn't the infrastructure to support the demand."

Wireless operators spend up to 40 percent of their costs in developing networks, according to O3B. This is evident when problems play out, such as AT&Ts recent insufficient 3G coverage to meet bug-exacerbated demand from iPhones.

O3B's unique plan is to launch medium-earth orbit (MEO) satellites, which orbit at 5,000 miles and only have 120 millisecond latency and are less expensive compared to geosatellites which orbit at 22,500 miles, have a latency of up to 600 milliseconds, and cost more. The new satellites are predicted to cut costs down to around $500 USD per megabit per month, much more affordable.

Read more at - 'Google Funds Startup to Bring Cheap Satellite Internet to 3 Billion People'


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