The proposed OneWeb satellite constellation reached progress in its pursuit of offering global Internet service, following the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) approval for market access in the country.
A total of 720 Internet-beaming, low-Earth orbit satellites are expected to go online by 2018 at the earliest. The approval advances OneWeb’s intention of providing Internet services to rural and other remote areas through Global Positioning System (GPS).
While the FCC has already approved U.S. market access for OneWeb’s plan, it will still require other permits, according to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. In addition, the government agency will need to consider other issues such as possible orbital debris and in-line interference arising from the project’s scope, said FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly.
Like OneWeb, companies that seek to deploy products and services that rely on GPS should be able to test those using reliable tools. A GPS constellation simulator, for instance, allows enterprises to save on development costs, as it shortens the required development period for their project.
The news about OneWeb’s plan will further increase the number of satellites that orbit our planet, which begs the question if more than 1,300 existing satellites are already excessive. The issue of disposing of old and damaged satellites particularly represents a problem.
Countries have recognized the importance of clean-up operations in space, yet no one seems to be willing in picking up the tab for this. An agreement should be in place soon, however, since satellites could be the reason for ending the space age in the same way that started it with these.
Internet services have become more modernized, thanks to GPS technology. As satellites in the Earth’s orbit increase in number, developers should recognize the importance of testing their products to see how it performs alongside the current fleet in space.