Y Combinator-supported startup Astranis is prepared to launch its first commercial telecommunication satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, with a launch time frame at present set for some time beginning in the fourth quarter of 2020. Astranis aims to address the market of people who don’t presently have broadband internet access, which continues to be a considerable number globally, and so they hope to take action using low-cost satellites that massively undercut the worth of existing international telecommunications hardware, which will be constructed and launched much sooner than existing spacecraft.
Astranis satellites are much more cost-efficient because they’re smaller and more straightforward to make, which adjustments the economics of deployment for potential carrier and connectivity provider companions. Its approach has already brought the partnership of Microcom subsidiary Pacific Dataport, an Anchorage company that was formed to expand satellite broadband access in Alaska. This would be the aim of the corporate’s first launch with SpaceX, to deliver a single satellite to geostationary orbit that can add over 7.5 Gbps of capacity to the web provider’s network in Alaska, tripling capability and potentially reducing prices by “as much as three times,” according to Astranis.
This isn’t the first-ever satellite that Astranis has sent up to space — it launched a demonstration satellite in 2018 to indicate that its tech may work as marketed. Astranis’ strategy is distinct from others attempting to offer satellite-based connectivity, even SpaceX’s Starlink mission since it focuses on constructing satellites that remain in a determined orbital position relative to the area on the bottom where they’re offering service.