Have you watched news that comes from the battle-torn areas of Afghanistan? How do you think the video footage and the news items sent by the reporters from Afghanistan is transmitted to their respective newspaper offices? Is it possible over the phone? Yes, some of them might use their 3G enabled phones.
Satellite Internet on Laptop
It is very difficult to lay a DSL cable to set up a broadband connection in small villages. There are two primary reasons; terrain and too few customers. To recover the cost of laying a DSL cable, it is imperative that there are a number of customers who wish to have broadband Internet access. In such cases, satellite Internet comes extremely handy.
Satellite Internet enabled laptops are designed to handle user requests using wireless connections that use satellites as a medium of communication. This Internet connection can be used for surfing the Internet as well as cable television.
The speed that it provides is better than dial-up connections, but slower than DSL and cable broadband connection. The advantage that these connections have over traditional Internet connections is that there are no delays.
The cost of this technology is, however, very high. You would need a dish (two feet by three feet), two modems (one each for uplink and downlink) and coaxial cables to connect the dish to the modems. The cost for the basic equipment costs anywhere around $500 to $1200.
Some laptops come with satellite compatible modems as well, however, these laptops definitely burn a hole in the buyer's pocket. To access the Internet, domestic users have to pay approximately $60 per month, whereas commercial users have to pay a minimum $150 or more.
If the rates are according to the speed and size of the uploads and the downloads, you might end up paying $5 per megabyte, which is very expensive. There are some satellite Internet providers who have cheaper facilities, whereby the TV only receives the signal and the Internet dish sends the signal.
The other major requirement is a clear view towards the south. This is important as the satellites which are orbiting around the Earth are closer to the equator.
Obstructions, like trees, thunder and lightning, storms, rain, etc., are known to disrupt the reception either partially or completely. Humidity and moisture too can hamper the proper functioning of the system, thereby ruining the reception.
The biggest advantage of such laptops is that they act like a Wi-Fi Internet connection when the user is on the road. Another big advantage is that the rate at which data is sent is slower as compared to its receiving rate.
A primary drawback is that the signal might take longer to come due to the geo-spatial round trip that the signal makes before it reaches the laptop.
Satellite Internet is ideal for mobile professionals, or in areas where there is a calamity and there is no land connectivity available. Unfortunately, it will take some time for it to really come into vogue and become cheaper.