Boeing is given green light by FCC to launch 147 satellites to provide broadband internet, despite complaints from Elon Musk’s SpaceX about interference with its rival network

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  • Boeing gets FCC nod to start building its Internet satellite group
  • The firm will start with 147 instruments, of which 132 will sit 656 miles above Earth’s surface and the rest will be located 27,000 miles above the surface.
  • In high orbit they would be non-geostationary satellites, meaning they have no fixed position, but would follow the Earth’s rotation
  • The application, first filed in 2017, faced criticism by SpaceX, which said the satellites would cause interference

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Boeing received Approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) late Wednesday night to begin building an Internet satellite cluster in Earth orbit.

application, which was Initially filed in 2017, to launch and operate 147 satellites to provide high-speed broadband Internet worldwide.

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Boeing plans to deploy 132 instruments 656 miles above Earth’s surface, while the rest will be non-geostationary that sit more than 27,000 miles above the surface as they follow the planet’s rotation.

Boeing’s petition to the FCC was met with pushback from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, which said it presents a ‘clear risk of harmful interference’ to other systems. Reuters,

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However, Boeing’s constellation may outperform SpaceX’s Starlink, as its satellites are tuned to broadcast in V-band, a high-frequency wireless spectrum that refers to frequencies from 40 to 75 GHz.

Starlink uses Ka- and Ku-bands, which commercial airlines use for in-flight Internet access with frequencies ranging from 12 to 18 GHz.

Boeing will also operate in both low-Earth orbit and medium Earth orbit, while SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are located in low-Earth orbit only.

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Boeing on Wednesday received approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to begin building an Internet satellite constellation in Earth orbit. The application, which was initially filed in 2017, aims to launch and operate 147 satellites to provide high-speed broadband internet around the world.

Boeing sees a multi-orbit future for satellite technologies, says Boeing Statement,

‘As the demand for satellite communications grows, there will be a need for diversity in orbital arrangements and frequencies to meet unique customer demands, and we see V-band as helping to provide some of that diversity. ‘

According to Boeing’s application, it plans to first serve users in the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, before expanding its reach globally.

“The system will expand terrestrial networks to provide broadband access to all Americans, particularly in rural and remote areas,” Boeing shared in the document.

According to Boeing’s application, it plans to first serve users in the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, before expanding its reach globally.

However, Boeing's constellation may outperform SpaceX's Starlink, as its satellites are tuned to broadcast in V-band, a high-frequency wireless spectrum that refers to frequencies from 40 to 75 GHz.  Pictured is an animation of SpaceX's Starlink constellation upon completion

However, Boeing’s constellation may outperform SpaceX’s Starlink, as its satellites are tuned to broadcast in V-band, a high-frequency wireless spectrum that refers to frequencies from 40 to 75 GHz. Pictured is an animation of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation upon completion

Starlink uses Ka- and Ku-bands, which commercial airlines use for in-flight Internet access with frequencies ranging from 12 to 18 GHz.

Starlink uses Ka- and Ku-bands, which commercial airlines use for in-flight Internet access with frequencies ranging from 12 to 18 GHz.

‘This will help meet the mandate and regulatory objectives for universal broadband access. In addition, as the deployment phases are completed, this 147-satellite system will provide high-speed data connectivity to people across the globe.

SpaceX is leading the Internet satellite industry with its more than 1,740 Starlink Internet satellites in orbit that serve at least 90,000 users.

The Musk-led company petitioned the FCC in 2019, claiming Boeing’s interference would be the cause, but the FCC rejected SpaceX’s argument that Boeing should face additional requirements.

‘SpaceX raises concerns about interference from Boeing’s uplink beams to its high-inclination satellites and recommends that Boeing use high gain antennas on those satellites with corresponding reductions in uplink power levels. We refuse to adopt SpaceX’s proposal,’ the FCC said.

Now Boeing is in race not only with SpaceX, but also with Amazon’s Project Kuiper and UK-based OneWeb.

OneWeb, on the other hand, hasn't made as much noise and is slowly building up its constellation - it currently has 322 Internet satellites in space.

OneWeb, on the other hand, hasn’t made as much noise and is slowly building up its constellation – it currently has 322 Internet satellites in space.

Amazon received approval from the FCC on November 1 to launch its first two satellites into orbit, which will be used as a test run for an upcoming constellation of 3,236 instruments.

However, Amazon and SpaceX have also been at odds over who dominates, as the company founded by Jeff Bezos petitioned the FCC to block SpaceX from modifying parts of its Starlink satellites. CNBC Reported in February.

While Amazon said it “supports the ability of operators to modify their system designs,” the company argues that the changes are too complex and should not be approved – thus grounding future Starlink batches. . The FCC has yet to make a final decision.

OneWeb, on the other hand, hasn’t made as much noise and is slowly building up its constellation – it currently has 322 Internet satellites in space.

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