SpaceX has filed patent applications for ‘Starlink’ – a new satellite-based, wireless broadband network that may provide gigabit speeds at 25 milliseconds.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has previously detailed its ambitious plan to deliver fast internet access around the world through a new satellite system, and now the company has filed patent applications for what could be the name of that eventual service – Starlink.
Users on Reddit today surfaced the news that SpaceX has now filed with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to have Starlink trademarked for “wireless broadband communication services” and “high-speed wireless Internet access”.
While SpaceX hasn’t yet confirmed the news (nor the result of the patent), the company has previously detailed its plan to launch some 4,425 satellite into low orbit, where the relatively low distance above ground (at some 1150 – 1324 kilometers) would vastly reduce the latency experienced by most satellite networks.
SpaceX expects the service’s latencies to be between 25 to 35ms – a significant decrease from the 600ms most satellite internet service providers offer. Further, the firm has previously stated that its satellites will offer high bandwidth (up to 1Gbps, per user) to users in both the United States and other, as-yet confirmed territories.
While most satellite-based wireless networks are inflexible based on the nature of their setup, SpaceX promises that its network should offer increased bandwidth in the future, offering that “The system leverages phased array technology to dynamically steer a large pool of beams to focus capacity where it is needed… Optical inter-satellite links permit flexible routing of traffic on-orbit. Further, the constellation ensures that frequencies can be reused effectively across different satellites to enhance the flexibility and capacity and robustness of the overall system.”
SpaceX previously received $1 billion in funding from both Google and Fidelity towards the development of its own satellite internet project, meaning that the service – if it is indeed called Starlink – may well be a reality in the months and years ahead.
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