The Boeing Internet satellite project is authorized by the FCC and will directly compete with the Starlink project
The Internet satellite project proposed by Boeing in 2017 has recently been authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).Boeing can now promote the construction, launch and operation of its own broadband Internet network from space, which will directly compete with SpaceX’s Starlink project.
Boeing’s plan involves putting 132 satellites into low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 1,056 kilometers (approximately 656 miles). Another 15 satellites will be launched into “non-geostationary orbits” at altitudes between 27,355 and 44,221 kilometers (16,998 and 27,478 miles).
Picture from Boeing
The company said it wants to use these satellites to “provide broadband Internet and communication services for residential consumers, government, and commercial users in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,” while establishing a network and providing it globally after the network is completed.
All 147 satellites will broadcast on the V band, which is a radio spectrum chip with higher Ka and Ku band frequencies than SpaceX’s Starlink network or Amazon’s undeployed Project Kuiper satellites. Using V-band can achieve faster data transmission rates, but because higher frequencies are more difficult to penetrate solid objects, there is a greater risk of interference. (SpaceX has plans to use V-band on some future satellites, as does OneWeb. Commercial airlines provide in-flight Internet satellites that also use Ka and Ku bands).
SpaceX has previously expressed concern that Boeing’s proposal to launch into an already crowded low orbit may increase the risk of collisions with other satellites. According to Reuters, in 2019, SpaceX told the FCC that it believed Boeing’s network would pose a “significant danger of harmful interference.” SpaceX’s Starlink satellites orbit the earth at an altitude of about 550 kilometers (about 342 miles), which is about where OneWeb’s Internet satellite cluster can be found (and where Amazon’s satellites will go after launch). SpaceX and OneWeb nearly avoided a collision earlier this year.
Boeing now has six years to launch half of the satellite constellation and nine years to deploy the entire network. According to an order issued on Wednesday, the company had asked the Federal Communications Commission to relax these requirements-it hoped to only promise to launch five satellites in the first six years, and required 12 years to launch the entire satellite constellation-but the committee rejected this. ask.