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"got internet?" Hybrid-Satellite Cellular

Do you remember the “got milk?” campaign?

We don’t actually need milk to function in this world, but most people do need the internet to work, to take classes, to connect, play games, watch movies or TV. Yup, we pretty much need the internet - like electricity, sewer services, water, trash removal, and a functioning car.

Reliable internet connection can be extremely challenging in rural areas. Rural areas have always been underserved - or last served - when it comes to all the infrastructure mentioned above like trash removal, water supply, sewer. It has been up to the land owner to put in septic, connect electricity or have solar or other options, dig a well. And with these solutions, there is a necessity to manage the usage. This all applies to rural internet as well.

Not too long ago, there was no solution for internet in the boonies. The big shift in providing internet to rural areas has been the availability and price reduction of satellite internet over the past 15 years.

If you have line of sight (clear view of southern sky), you can have satellite internet. The big players in this realm in the USA are HughesNet and Viasat.

Rural Internet Solution Evolution

Satellite internet has traditionally used geosynchronous satellites orbiting the earth in sync with earth’s rotation 22,300 miles out from the satellite dish’s location. Companies in the USA that provide this type of Satellite internet are HughesNet and Viasat. The signal takes a few seconds to travel 22,300 miles and this delay in signal is called latency. You may have experienced latency as the turning circle on your television when waiting for videos to load. Or the delay in a content-rich web site loading. Video conferencing can be impacted with with high latency causing hiccuping of the video picture and visual depixelating. This is not a speed issue as much as it is latency. This is a growing issue as our way of using the internet has evolved.

Evolution of Internet Use

Our use of the internet has changed; we used to use the internet for function:

  • We would upload and download data.

  • We would email, shop/surf the net.

Complicated Use of Internet in Home
Plethora of Devices in a Household That Use the Internet

Now we use the internet for entertainment, work, school: (I believe this referred to as IoT or "Internet of Things")

  • We Stream TV, movies, and YouTube videos.

  • We connect through video-chat and video-conferencing for work or school.

  • We check in with Social Media which now also includes video viewing and conferencing.

  • We can do all of this in High Definition (HD).

  • All these activities can be completed on a large screen television or computer screen with high pixel as well as High Definition.

This shift in our use of technology and on so many different types of devices (often simultaneously) has required faster and faster internet uploads and downloads, therefore, the necessity for functional internet to have less latency or no latency has become obvious faster than the structure could provide it.

The Race to Provide Rural Internet Solutions: LEO

One solution has been provided by Starlink with the introduction of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). It has been a game changer. This provides orbiting satellites with a distance of only 300 to 1,200 miles from the dish allowing a lower latency experience. Because of the proximity to earth and the satellite orbitting at a faster speed than earth, the signal must leap from orbiting passing satellite to orbitting passing satellite during usage. The cost and availability of service continue to be a barrier, but is is a very good solution for a lot of folks who can get it.

Satellite companies like HughesNet and Viasat that have traditionally used the longer range orbit are responding by partnering with LEO (Low Earth Orbit) providers and launching satellites into medium earth orbit.

The Latest & Greatest Solution: Hybrid-Satellite

Here is the most awesome super cool and innovative new solution: Hybrid-Satellite which integrates Satellite and Wireless signals.

Hybrid-Satellite provides communications - particularly internet access, to computer users. The hybrid satellite communications system includes a satellite system and a terrestrial communications system. The satellite system includes two transceivers.

"The global hybrid-satellite cellular terminal market is expected to reach $696.4 million by 2031, with a CAGR of 22.81% during the forecast period 2021-2031.

The growing need for high-speed and secure wireless communication in remote areas is expected to enhance the hybrid-satellite cellular terminal market during the forecast period.

Furthermore, the increasing growth in the number of smartphones and tablets is advancing the number of devices connected to the internet every year. This staggering growth in the usage of the Internet of Things (IoT) services is expected to provide new growth avenues to the market players over the coming years.

The government and defense end user segment is estimated to dominate the global hybrid-satellite cellular terminal market due to the growing need for high-speed communication to emergency responders and different armored vehicles."

From BusinessWire News.

If the Government and military are grabbing this as the latest and greatest, it seems they would be on to something.

HughesNet is a Big Player in the Hybrid-Satellite Movement

HughesNet has added this unique solution to their product line combining satellite and wireless technologies to greatly reduce latency by sending latency-sensitive requests through a wireless connection rather than satellite. This wireless connection - the closest cellular tower within a few miles typically- provides a low-latency service (faster than LEO - low Earth orbit - 300 to1,200 miles distance from your receiver and no need for a signal to leap during use).

  • Here’s a little plug: HughesNet Satellite is the most secure internet available - which is why the military uses it. And now HughesNet is offering this new Hybrid-Satellite solution - which the military and our government also are heavily pursuing. Seems HughesNet has got it going on.

HughesNet's Fusion

HughesNet's Fusion - How It Works
Diagram of HughesNet's Fusion - How It Works

This solution is called Fusion by HughesNet. It is a responsive, low-latency internet with reliable, multipath technology. With Fusion, videos and web sites load faster and overall more responsive. HughesNet Fusion plans are a great solution for those who live beyond the reach of cable and fiber.

Fusion Plans are currently available in specific areas, with expanded availability expected in the coming year (as more towers are built). Because this multipath technology relies on Satellite and wireless, you need to have signal from a local cell tower in order to be able to have both services. (If you don’t have signal from a tower, you can still have the satellite service).

So this service is available in the in between areas - not in town but not in the far out boonies. It effectively bridges the gap between in town fiber/cable and just out of town rural areas.

What else has HughesNet done to meet the needs of their customers? They have lowered their prices! Plans with Fusion 100GB are only $99.99 / month and plans for 100GB without fusion are only $89.99. If you are an existing customer, you should take advantage of this price break. HughesNet is a pretty amazing company and service. (And if you are interested, give us a call; we will give you a great deal).

Granny was Right - Technological Advances Just Keep Coming!

It is exciting to see the leaps in technology with the devices we use (huge HD televisions for example) and the extraordinary efforts by the providers to keep up with the internet load demands. As more and more cell towers are erected, more and more satellites put in orbit and other technologies created to meet the demand, the internet will be more accessible, faster and more affordable.

If you are looking for internet service, give us a call. We will get you hooked-up. We can help you figure out what is the best internet for you, at your location, to meet your needs. It's what we do.

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