In the world of technology, innovation is never hard to come by. Some companies are moving than willing to go out on a limb and offer a potentially groundbreaking service. When it comes to providing internet via satellites, several companies are trying to make a name for themselves.
SpaceX Seems to Lead the Pack
Although not everyone sees merit in some of Elon Musk’s ideas, his plan to bring SpaceX to the masses might actually work. This company will launch numerous satellites into space, which will then provide the masses on the ground with broadband internet access. Interestingly enough, this satellite internet market is expected to more than quintuple in the next few years. If SpaceX is successful in its venture it might have the biggest slice of the pie for the foreseeable future.
Facebook Isn’t Giving up Either
Plenty of people were surprised to learn Facebook wants to get in on the satellite internet action as well. In a way, this shouldn’t be surprising, as it will allow the company to collect even more data on its users. Whether or not the company will ever succeed in providing this rather unique service, is very difficult to predict. There is still a lot of work to be done before this technology can even become accessible to the masses at affordable prices, let alone go mainstream.
OneWeb has Plenty of Backing
Venturing into the world of satellite internet is not cheap. It requires a lot of research and development, and incurs both hardware and software costs along the way. Even then, there is no guarantee consumers will even take notice of this service. For OneWeb, failure is not an option. However, the company is backed by SoftBank Group, thus monetary concerns should not arise in the immediate future.
Viasat Tries to Keep an Edge
Many people tend to forget satellite internet is not a new trend by any means. In fact, it has been around for decades albeit it has never grown into a full-fledged industry. Given the access to broadband internet in most parts of the world, linking up to a satellite is not necessary for most. Even so, Viasat has become a rather successful company by providing this luxury service.
The bigger question is how the company will deal with this growing competition. It is pertinent for the first movers to maintain their competitive edge. Until SpaceX, Facebook, or OneWeb effectively shows its technology works, Viasat has nothing to worry about just yet. However, the provider must prepare for what will occur inevitably. A very interesting arms race is taking place in this space.
Don’t Overlook Hughes Network Systems
For those unfamiliar with Hughes Network Systems, it is part of EchoStar’s services and products. Similar to ViaSat, this company has been active in the world of satellite internet for some time now and will face some tough decisions and competition in the years ahead. One also has to keep in mind several other companies in this industry have already gone bankrupt in recent years.
Those Who Didn’t Make it
Back in the 1990s, space-based broadband internet access seemed like a good business model. So much even that Teeldisc – backed by Bill Gates, Iridium, and Globalstar all got in on the action as a very early stage. Unfortunately for all of those ventures, they were forced to file for bankruptcy not too long after. At that time, there weren’t multiple rocket-launching companies either, thus this time around might work out very differently.