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All About Starlink Satellite Internet; Is the Ilan Mask project usable in Iran?

Study guide

After the controversy over the protection plan, the issue of satellite internet became hot in our country. Some announced the arrival of equipment related to this Internet by publishing it in Iran. However, is satellite internet available in Iran? To answer this and other questions, read this article to the end.

What is satellite internet?

The idea of ​​using satellites to access the Internet dates back to 30 years ago, in the 90s. The use of satellite capacity to transfer data between users was first investigated in 1993. However, at that time, Internet users were not widespread in the world. Investors were also reluctant to use this method.

One of the biggest satellite internet projects was for a company called Teledesic. With the support of Microsoft, the company planned to place hundreds of satellites in near-Earth orbit and create the first satellite Internet network. The company’s ambitious $ 9 billion project failed in 2003. One of the reasons for the project’s failure at the time was the high cost of single-use satellite missiles and the high cost of the electronic equipment used in the satellites.

With the advancement of science and technology in the last 30 years, on the one hand, and with the growth and expansion of the use of the Internet around the world, on the other hand, the ground has been provided again for investors and companies to compete for the satellite Internet market. In the meantime, one name has come to the fore in recent years: Starlink satellite internet.

What is Starlink Satellite Internet Project?

Ilan Mask, owner of SpaceX

Starlink is the name of a project launched by SpaceX since 2015. The goal of this project is to create a high-speed satellite Internet network with the help of satellites that the company produces and launches into space. The company’s satellites, each weighing about 260 kilograms, are located 550 kilometers from Earth. They create an array of satellites and cover a specific area.

It is estimated that 30,000 satellites will be needed to cover a large part of the planet. To date, the company has orbited 1,800 satellites. Parts of the United States, Canada, and other selected locations are on trial. To understand the great work that SpaceX and its ambitious owner, Ilan Mask, are pursuing, it is enough to know that the total number of satellites orbiting the Earth before the project began was only 4,300.

How to use Starlink Internet?

To use Starlink satellite internet, all you have to do is buy a transceiver plate and its accompanying equipment and install it in the right place. These pieces of hardware are also manufactured by SpaceX itself. The purpose of satellite internet is to take the internet to places in the world that do not have internet access.

Note that a large part of the world’s Internet is now supplied by copper and, more recently, fiber-optic cables, which have their own limitations. However, satellite internet seeks to provide global and global internet coverage to its users almost anywhere.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Starlink satellite internet?

Like any other major project, Starlink satellite internet has its advantages as well as its problems. One of the important benefits of this project is meeting the internet needs of areas of the world that for various reasons can not be reached by cable; For example, less developed or remote areas of cities are among the potential customers of this Internet.

Starlink satellite internet problems
The reflection of Starlink satellites from the perspective of a novice astronomer

However, in addition to these advantages, there are also disadvantages. The use of a large number of satellites in near-Earth orbits disrupts the normal and professional observation of the night sky. In 2019, the World Astronomical Society issued a statement protesting the disruption of the company’s satellites in the night sky. This prompted SpaceX to refine the design of its satellites to prevent the problem from escalating in the coming years. So that they produce much less light reflection.

Starlink project manager says in this regard:

We want to make sure that children can continue to observe the night sky. Although it is appealing to them to see our company satellites, they should look at other celestial bodies and not be disturbed. We continue to work with leading astronomers around the world, looking for different solutions to meet their needs for the night sky and reduce the light reflection of our satellites.

In addition, another major disadvantage of satellite Internet is the impact of the network on climate change. Accumulation of snow, heavy rain or strong winds may adversely affect the speed and quality of operation of the transceiver.

How fast is satellite internet?

One of the most important criteria for evaluating the quality of services of any Internet service provider is the speed that that company offers to its customers. Starlink satellite internet currently offers users between 50 and 150 Mbps. The data transfer delay is about 20 to 40 milliseconds. Although satellite internet speeds are still a long way from its ground rival, Ilan Musk has promised to increase the internet speed to 300 Mbps by putting more satellites in orbit and developing equipment and expanding infrastructure.

Because the speed of fiber-optic networks in different parts of the world is much slower than the speed of Starlink satellites, it seems that satellite Internet will spread much faster than fiber-optic Internet in the world; For example, SpaceX’s powerful Falcon 9 rocket puts 60 satellites into orbit at a time, while the rocket itself can be reused over and over again.

How much does Starlink Internet cost?

Starlink satellite internet speed
Equipment required to use Starlink satellite internet

Currently, the cost of the equipment needed to use this Internet is $ 500. This amount, considering the price of the dollar, is equivalent to 12 million and 500 thousand tomans. Also, the monthly subscription fee for this service is set at $ 99 per month, which will be about 2.5 million Tomans.

Although the $ 99 cost of satellite Internet is more expensive for global consumers than ground competitors, subscription costs as well as the cost of equipment needed over time are expected to decrease. Note that other companies are entering the $ 1 trillion satellite Internet market, and this competition can increase quality and lower prices.

Is Starlink satellite internet available to Iranians?

You can find the answer to this question by searching the name of Iran on Starlink website. At present, Iran and many other parts of the world are not covered by this project. However, the issue of Iran is not just being covered by this network, there are other challenges.

Problems of using Starlink satellite internet in Iran

Problems of using satellite internet in our country can be divided into 3 categories:

1. Political and legal problems and conflicts of interest

Because SpaceX is an American private company, in order to be able to provide its services to users around the world, in addition to the international laws governing digital communications, it must also communicate with governments. Now the question is, given the problems between Iran and the United States, will this company basically seek to provide satellite Internet for Iranian citizens?

On the other hand, the weakness of legislation and the narrow views of legislators in the country, as well as the interests of the government as one of the Internet providers, can also make the use of this Internet in the country difficult.

2. Problems with sanctions

If SpaceX is determined to provide the Internet to Iranian citizens, the question is how citizens are going to transfer the costs of this service to the company’s account, while under the sanctions and non-acceptance of the benefits of the benefits, Iranian citizens transfer money to They are facing a lot of difficulties abroad.

Finally, it is unlikely that the company will provide free satellite Internet services to Iranian citizens; Unless the costs are met elsewhere.

3. Expensive satellite internet for Iranians due to the falling value of the national currency

Even if the above-mentioned issues are resolved in some way, the costs of satellite internet are still very expensive for many Iranian citizens. Even the current Internet offered in the country is expensive by international standards. With the current inflation trend, many citizens may be forced to remove the share of the Internet from their household expenses. In such a situation, it is unlikely that a large number of Iranian citizens will be able to pay for this Internet.

In general, it should be said that at present it is not possible to use satellite internet for Iranian users. It is not clear when this will be possible.

Warning! Beware of scammers

Following the controversy surrounding the protection plan, satellite Internet in cyberspace fell on deaf ears. Some also announced the arrival of this satellite in the country by publishing images of satellite internet devices and Starlink equipment. Given what has been said, SpaceX, as the operator of the Starlink satellite internet project, has not yet started its services in Iran; Therefore, any advertisement for the sale of equipment and the launch of Starlink satellite internet is a scam.

What do you know about satellite internet? Let us know your questions and comments.





All About Starlink Satellite Internet; Is the Ilan Mask project usable in Iran?


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