STARLINK (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     18th April 2024        
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Context: Recently, SpaceX has initiated a crackdown on users accessing its Starlink high-speed internet service from unauthorized countries, taking measures to curb the growing black market for the company's satellite kits.


Satellite internet venture Starlink

  • About: It is the world's largest satellite constellation utilizing low Earth orbit (LEO) to deliver broadband internet, supporting activities like streaming, online gaming, and video calls.
  • Features: Unlike traditional satellite internet services relying on geostationary satellites at 35,786 km, Starlink's LEO satellites orbit at approximately 550 km, significantly reducing latency to around 25 ms compared to 600+ ms.
  • Satellite Lifespan: Approximately five years.
  • Current Operational Satellites: 5,504 (as of March 2024).
  • Planned Satellite Constellation: Up to 42,000 satellites.


Satellite Internet Working:

  • Internet service providers (ISPs) launch multiple satellites into space that orbit around the earth (low-earth orbit or high-earth orbit). 
  • A satellite dish is then installed on the exterior of your home free from any obstructions like trees or buildings so your satellite dish can receive the signal from space after your internet service provider routes the signal through your modem. 
  • By installing a Wi-Fi router, you can use that signal to power the internet devices in your home.
  • Licensing Mechanism:

o Global Mobile Personal Communication by Satellite (GMPCS) services license: A company must get this license to offer satellite internet in India

o OneWeb and Jio have already obtained GMPCS licenses.

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