Greg Wyler, founder of the start-up satellite operator, OneWeb (formerly known as WorldVu), which proposes to put up a large constellation of 650 communications satellites into low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, cut a charismatic figure as he presented his wares at Satellite 2015.
Wyler says that alternative orbits such as the Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) just cannot get round the latency issue and that only LEO can provide a seamless service for smart phone (and other IP devices) users.
To achieve this, OneWeb have been developing ground antennae to support the new service. Wyler explained that Oneweb will use Ku-band rather than Ka-band frequencies for two reasons. Ku-band has better reliability in varying weather conditions and its ground antennae are simpler and therefore less costly.
Wyler revealed a solar powered US$250 ground terminal which could be used at rural locations such as a school to provide 3G or Wifi connectivity. He also displayed a small terminal significantly less than a metre wide which is being developed by Rockwell Collins for aviation use (including by General Aviation). This terminal would also be suitable of other mobile applications via a fitment in a car or van boot/trunk.