Musk, Wyler Planning Satellite-Delivered Internet Systems

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Musk, Wyler Planning Satellite-Delivered Internet Systems

Jan 21, 2015 11:01 AM, Doug Irwin, CPBE AMD DRB

SEATTLE�Two separate initiatives for worldwide delivery of Internet via satellite were brought to light last week. is reporting that Grey Wyler''s company OneWeb plans on building a �micro-satellite'' network for that purpose, and has gained financial backing from Qualcomm, as well as Richard Branson''s Virgin Group.

Wyler said that the plan includes 648 small satellites that would orbit at about 750 miles up. The cost per satellite is estimated at $350,000 when built using an �assembly-line'' technique. Virgin Group, which has its own space segment, will launch the satellites. Wyler pointed out that OneWeb has secured the rights to the necessary radio spectrum through the International Telecommunications Union. The project cost is estimated to be between $1.5B and $2B, with the launch expected for 2018.

The same article goes on to point out that Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has also announced plans to provide satellite-delivered internet connectivity, also from a network of small satellites orbiting at about 750 miles. Musk estimates that this project will cost as much as $10B, and will take at least 5 years to complete.