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Samsung proposes constellation of satellites to offer cheap, global Internet access

Samsung is jumping into the satellite Internet market, alongside SpaceX, Google, Facebook and a host of other corporations that want to capture the next two billion people coming online.

The president of Samsung Research America, Farooq Khan, proposes a 4,600 satellite constellation, which should be able to cover the world in Internet. SpaceX’s own estimations have it at 7,000 satellites, but Khan believes he can cut the size with new satellite designs.

The low-orbit satellites would launch between 160k and 2000k above the Earth’s surface. Having that many satellites pushing Internet every day should cover most of the world, with the constellation staying in formation to offer Internet throughout the day.

The proposal wants other government and industry help to make it a reality. This is more of a combined effort, compared to Google and SpaceX.

Khan believes it is impossible to create the same infrastructure we have in the United Kingdom and United States in countries like Nigeria, Sudan and Indonesia. The cost to create WiFi and LTE networks is too high, and having a system in place to cover all of the world would be more cost effective and speed up the growth of Internet adoption worldwide.

By 2028, Khan claims "both cellular and Wi-Fi will be carrying data traffic in excess of one zetabye/month".

While it is a rather interesting idea, to cover the world in satellites capable of shooting out Internet, it seems like there are too many companies that want to make this a possibility. Qualcomm, Google, Nokia, Facebook, Microsoft and Samsung all want to have a slice of the emerging economy cake.