Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellites for Enterprise 5G: A Very Long-term Opportunity, at Best

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By Leo Gergs | 2Q 2022 | IN-6065


Everyone is Talking About Low Earth Orbit Satellites


Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, OneWeb, and SpaceX are all actively carrying out their satellite ambitions for communication technologies, while new players like Rivada Space Networks are disrupting the market.  In 2020, Amazon announced its intention to spend US$10 billion to launch low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites (i.e., those that operate at a particularly low altitude) into space. Most prominently, their LEO ambitions, called “Project Kuiper,” will also include 83 launches and 1,5000 LEO satellites within the next five years. And recently, SpaceX and OneWeb have gained permission to deploy 4,408 and 648 LEO satellites respectively using the Ku-band spectrum. Since the early days of 2021, the discussion has gained significantly more commercial relevance, as the U.S. American Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has granted Elon Musk’s Space X company permission to launch 10 so-called “Starlink” LEO satellites into polar orbit to provide internet access.

It is time to debunk some of the myths that center around the use of extra…

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