Lynk is preparing for the pilot testing of the internet connectivity from satellites

Lynk is preparing for the pilot testing of the internet connectivity from satellites

Lynk has announced plans to roll out the cellular connectivity program using its first satellite. The company will be venturing into the project on a commercial scale next year. The chief of operations at Lynk, Margo Deckard, stated at the SmallSat Symposium held this month that the trials conducted last year revealed that text messages could be transferred from space vehicles in the low-Earth orbit to mobile phones on Earth. She added that the technology would help to unveil the potential of cellular band usage linking space and terrestrial operations. This move will help people with smartphones enjoy fast and reliable internet connectivity.

Lynk conducted the trials in 2020 with the satellites hosted by the Cygnus cargo spacecraft. This spacecraft was in space for some days before reentering the Earth. The company utilized this opportunity to deploy a small satellite that will initiate its pilot project for internet connectivity.

The satellite will be operating between 450 and 500 kilometers from Earth, enabling it to deorbit and terminate its existence easily. The company explained that this satellite would be the first in a constellation of 1000 satellites that will offer both voice and messaging services. The initial step will be ensuring that messages reach their destination in time before the company can advance the services of the satellite. Moreover, the company stated that it would be widening coverage to prove its reliability in different corners of the Earth.

Deckard articulated that the initial commercial satellite will offer internet connectivity for 5 to 20 minutes, which is indicative of the range of the device from the satellite. Deckard noted that there are numerous cases where this kind of connectivity would be crucial. However, the disadvantage of this connectivity is the spectrum that the satellite is using.

In standard operations, satellites must run on the spectrum for space applications and not the wireless mobile network spectrum that phones use. The executive explained that they would be linking with a satellite operator offering this service for efficiency. The company stated that it obtained a test license from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, provided it worked with network operators for test reliability.

Other companies that have ventured this technology include AST SpaceMobile. This company unveiled a merger with a SPAC called New Providence Acquisition Corp. that will increase its capital base to $462 million. Deckard explained that they are focusing on cellular technology instead of developing a satellite portfolio like AST. He noted that the transition to 5G internet connectivity is the chief cause of their realizations in this technology.