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A Chinese company's bringing free internet to the world

03/12/2018
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Just over half the population of the planet currently have access to the internet. But for one Chinese firm, that is not nearly enough. 

LinkSure Network is planning to launch 272 satellites over the next eight years that will deliver Wi-Fi across the globe, connecting even the most remote locations to the internet for the first time ever and delivering Google, Amazon and EngineeringPro to a further 4 billion people. 

LinkSure network wants to connect a series of satellites across the globe that will bring free internet access to remote regions
(Image via Reuters)

Removing infrastructure challenges of delivering high-speed internet access is considered the next stage in connecting everyone. The LinkSure Swarm Constellation System will ensure that as long as your device can see a satellite, it can go online. 

“There are still many places in the world still uncovered by the internet,” said LinkSure Network’s chief executive Wang Jingying.

“The Earth has many different terrains like ocean or desert, where internet infrastructure cannot be constructed, so we got the idea of developing such satellites.”

 The Shanghai-based LinkSure Network already supports 900 million users across 223 countries and regions with its WiFi Master Key, which allows users to securely connect to wi-fi hotspots while protecting their online privacy. The team developing plans for the satellite system includes members of the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST).

The plan is for two layers of low orbit satellites - a 72 strong satellite core that will be around 100km (62 miles) above the Earth, with 200 more satellite nodes at 600km (373 miles) from the ground.

There will also be a series of data processing application centres back on Earth, supporting the satellites to boost coverage.

The project’s chief scientist, An Yang, explained: “On a global scale, the number of satellites far from meet the huge demand for communication. The future of the communication sector must be a combination of space and ground.”

Shanghai-based LinkSure unveiled their plans to connect the world to the internet using 272 low-orbit satellites
(Image via LinkSure)

Like any “free” offer, there is a catch.

The project is estimated to cost around 3 billion yuan ($432 million). LinkSure claim that funding will come from “partnerships and applications” - meaning access to the network will likely require using LinkSure apps, and dealing with associated advertising.

However, many might consider this a small price to pay to be able to check instagram from a Himalayan base camp.

LinkSure aren’t the first to consider delivering global Wi-Fi from above. SpaceX and Facebook are also looking in to launching similar satellite systems, with the latter having given up on their original plan for a series of drones hovering over our heads. Meanwhile Google are going a different way with their Project Loon, which involves having specially designed hot air balloons deliver internet access to remote regions.

Even if you’re sceptical about these systems, you won’t have to wait long to see for yourself. The LinkSure-1 satellite is due to launch in 2019, with ten more scheduled for the following year. The company plan to have the entire system of 272 satellites in orbit and operational by 2026.

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Tags: ICT
Recent Comments
I liked to see and would like to benefit by the app.
Nelson Antonio Tinga Tsambi, 03 December 2018
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A Chinese company's bringing free internet to the world - Time to read 3 min
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