Broadband internet access is a rapidly developing technology. The term broadband itself suggests that the bandwidth provided by this technology is high. The dial-up connection is now becoming obsolete due to the various drawbacks associated with it.
The dial-up connection requires a telephone line to establish a connection between the service provider and the customer. The telephone line remains busy when you access the internet using a dial-up connection. Broadband internet is the solution to this problem. It is used in various forms like DSL, cable, wireless, and fiber optics. However, the services provided by these technologies are limited to certain geographical areas. Usually, they are rendered only to the major cities, by service providers.
Many remote areas, and terrestrial locations do not have an access to the broadband facility. Satellite broadband internet connection is a solution for this problem. Its availability and the area limitations of other forms, have led to its emergence as the most convenient way of connecting to the internet, in these areas.
The communication between the satellite and the user is via either a one-way dish or a two-way dish. The dish must be stationed in a way that minimizes the interference of signals from other satellites. The two-way dish is an expensive option. One-way dish is an economical option, but the choice will depend upon requirements of the consumer. Mostly, the two-way communication dish is preferred by residential users and small businesses. The two-way internet service is characterized by Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) and single channel per carrier (SCPC). Currently, the satellites operate in the 'C' and 'Ku' frequency bands. These are frequencies within a particular band of the electromagnetic spectrum used specifically for satellite communication.
Total coverage and uninterrupted access are the most important benefits provided by a satellite connection. There are three satellite constellations, viz. GEO (geostationary earth orbit), LEO (low earth orbit), and MEO (middle earth orbit), of which GEO and LEO are used for internet and voice services.
GEO stands for geostationary earth orbit. The satellites in this orbit have an angular velocity same as that of the earth. They are at a height of 35,900 km from the Earth's surface. As their angular velocity is same as that of the Earth's, they always appear to be stationary above the earth's surface and thus, provide constant coverage to some particular area. However, they have a feature of latency. Latency is the time required to track the geostationary satellites, after a request is sent from the user. This is a delay of about 800-900 milliseconds and is acceptable. Two-way internet is generally not used with GEO. The LEO satellites do not exhibit latency problem. Typically, the dish must be in the line-of-sight of the satellite for communication. Rainfall and moisture in the air also affect the accessibility.
The various services provided by satellite internet include the VoIP service, which is a relatively recent technological development. Voice calls using VoIP are very cheap and customers living in remote areas can take advantage of this.