On the net from an undefined location.
How long will they allow this I wonder ?
A French firm plans to launch a satellite next year that it says will offer the entire UK up to 10Mbit/s broadband, including rural areas that are poorly served by ADSL and cable. This week, Eutelsat is launching "Tooway" broadband in the UK at up to 2Mbit/s, via an existing satellite. Its new craft, launching in the third …
Satellite for downstream is one thing, but this seems to use satellite for downstream and upstream. Nice ping times there then, gaming should be real fun. And even for surfing, with round trip latencies in the hundreds of milliseconds (is that right for geostationary?) the surfing experience will leave something to be desired. It might suit outlying areas which are out of the reach of both DSL and 3G, and where the main interest is non-interactive stuff (classic non-web-based email, downloading files via classic ftp, uploading website updates ditto, etc) but I can't see it catching on as a consumer technology for consumer applications. But the UK has government subsidies going begging for the nice Lord Carter's broadband universal service obligation (yes, Lord Carter of NTL and Ofcon) so I guess these folks want their share of the trough.
When I was investigating satellite broadband a couple of years ago the three things that killed the prospect were the cost of entry, the pitifully slow connection speeds and the miserly monthly cap on data volumes. A recent re-visit to the market showed me that nothing much had changed - except there are much more viable alternatives, such as 3G broadband.
Now these guys have a new product, and el Reg's article shows they have come some way to addressing the first two show-stoppers. However, as the third leg of this particular bar-stool hasn't been mentioned, I must presume that the amount of stuff you can download is still too low (albeit, you can reach your monthly limit much, much faster) to be of any real use.
From a strategic point of view, it's hard to see where these guys are going to get any long-term business from. Any terrestrial solution (3G, WiMax - sorry, I couldn't help myself) will beat a space-bound one hands down. Not just in terms of latency: having to wait hundreds of milliseconds for the signal to bounce off a geostationary sat. but in infrastructure costs, too. Just like satellite phones didn't take off, except in a literal way on the pointy end of a rocket, I think that more modern solutions means that progress will eat these guys' lunch. I'm out.
"On the net from an undefined location."
Ah, yes, I'd missed that. Good point. But I think in practice it is more likely to be on the net "from a location that isn't white-listed for the service you wanted and which our terrorist filter has flagged up as requiring further investigation with some rubber hose". Still, one can dream.
30 squid just for 10meg bb is a bit much in comparison to other broadband package costs already out there. I get 8meg & phone for half that cost.
That said, I wonder if this will dent Jackboots Smith's IMP idea? Will the Home Office be prepared to pay the French for data storage and retrieval and how much will that cost the French to isolate the UK data from the rest of Europe?
Bring on 2010 and the broadband wars.
Every one of our customers using our 2-way satellite services HAS to give us the latitude and longitude of the terminal. Otherwise the correct delay of the return carrier can't be calculated accurately and this leads to problems. It's amazing the trouble that one site with the wrong location can cause in a network!
The French government will allow it, they're far more libertarian than the UK at present, so Labour will have to lump it. Even if it's officially banned and only offered in France, setting up a foreign billing account and importing a LNB transceiver (or whatever it's called) would be trivial.
Murdock is going to have kittens! The tabloids may well go nuts over the "security risk" imposed by the French, but as Brussels won't buy the argument, it's demonstrable hot air. Heck, his papers can't demand the UK "go Chinese" and start shooting down satellites as they're needed to bring us The Simpsons, and Fox "News"!
With this and TOR networks, the government's plan of internet monitoring is only going to catch stupid, bumbling, comedy terrorists, the "Bean-Ladins" who poses more of a danger to themselves, oh and members of the general public who have broken local council bylaws or joined a club on Jackie "McCarthy" Smith's blacklist.
Wow, sounds impressive, but I think i'll wait until 2010 to see how well it performs. I notice that no mention of 'upstream' speeds are mentioned in the article - I'd be interested to know what it is.
I wonder which will be first, my exchange being upgraded to 21CN/WDS (Q1 2009 apparently) or the satellite being launched and a commercial service offered. I also want to see if anyone offers a 'travellers' kit for this - how nice would it be to take your Broadband with you, wherever in Europe you go?
These services are not new - the business plan is quite simple:
1) Don't understand the issues.
2) Sell to a hundred or so subscribers.
3) Go bust, leaving the subscribers out of pocket for the set up charges.
I worked for a company (a subsidiary of a very large global organisation) who tried this during the .com boom. They had the same selling point (high speed net access in areas without ADSL coverage), the same technical problem - which basically boils down to massive latency (geo-stationary orbits haven't got any closer). The only thing which appears to have changed is that their potential market (people who can't get ADSL) is much smaller.
Satellite Broadband has been available for years, but hasn't been aimed at the ordinary man in the street. Internet connectivity outside major cities and towns is a joke in the UK. This is long overdue. It's just a pity that it's a foreign company has seen the light. I'm sure though that Big Brother will tell them to keep logs . . . Static IPv6 addresses for all their customers?
Does anybody know the total up- and downlink capacity of this next generation satellite?
Will they switch to a laser link between the groundstation and the satellite as demonstrated by ESA some years ago?
Or is the current radio technology good enough for xxx Gbit/s?
Just wondering, because 10 Mbit/s per user will mean lot's of Gbit/s or even worse in total. Even when lot's of users are not using all of the 10 Mbit/s all the time...
Or do they just not subscribe more than
Mine's the coat with the question marks in the pocket...
"A French firm plans to launch a satellite next year that it says will offer the entire UK up to 10Mbit/s broadband, including rural areas that are poorly served by ADSL and cable.
This week, Eutelsat is launching "Tooway" broadband in the UK at up to 2Mbit/s, via an existing satellite."
So which speed is it? The article states 2Mbit throughout. That is not 10Mbit.
On a good point - at least satelitte broadband is getting cheaper.
Huh? What kind of VoIP do you get with geostationary satellites in the link both ways? Remember the delays in the days when transatlantic phone calls went via satellite not fibre? Now add some delays for digitisation and IP packetisation and IP routing, and you might as well just use postcards, or, if available, an actual telephone line.
"Eutelsat said that it will offer latency-sensitive services such as IPTV and VoIP via satellite. Fremaux conceded that the updated technology will not overcome latency problems for online gamers, however."
There some mixup of terminology here. IPTV is not latency sensitive - provided that there is sufficient bandwidth to keep the video buffers fed with data, then it doesn't much matter if the latency is 10ms or 1000ms (subject only to the buffer having to be larger with long latencies to allow for retry times and, of course, that real-time feeds will be further behind with longer latencies). VOIP is latency sensitive in the sense that you get that annoying gap between question and reply, but really what matters is "jitter" - that is the variation in the arriveal time of packets, and packet loss. Jitter is not latency (although higher latency routes can get higher levels of jitter). As you don't want to wait several seconds for a reply, using large buffers to deal with "jitter" and allowing retries to handle packet losses is not viable.
Realtime games are a different matter - that really is a pure latency issue.
but I expect alot of tutorials on the web how to hack the system
And i think i will let somebody else try before i buy
Not sure about pings tbh. im a gamer at heart anything above 80 is gonna piss me off and i think they would be hard stretched to get below 120
Although i can see this being bloody usefull for rural companies.
I can think of three we could sell this too already
And also usefull as backup connection
They say the latency is about 600 ms. The time to a geosynchronous satellite and back is about 250 ms. So that makes sense: the "ping time" is a round trip, so the signal makes the 36000 km journey four times. However, if two subscribers to the same service are communicating peer-to-peer, does their communication go directly via the satellite (600 ms ping time, four times 36000 km), or does their communication go via a third ground station (1200 ms ping time, eight times 36000 km)?
Especially for my client in a small village near Henley-on-Thames where, believe it or not, she can only get dial-up. 3G? Nope. 2G? Poor....
Funny thing is apparently one of the top execs from BT has moved in down the road, so I figure broadband won't be too far off...
I reckon her and her neighbours could share the costs ;-)
I seem to be the only one to be able to read the whole article.....otherwise people wouldn't be posting comments like.
The latency will be no good for gaming....
"Fremaux conceded that the updated technology will not overcome latency problems for online gamers, however."
"So which speed is it? The article states 2Mbit throughout. That is not 10Mbit."
"at up to 2Mbit/s, via an existing satellite.........Its new craft, launching in the third quarter of 2010....."
There are many places in the UK where there is NO mobile coverage at all, and people live 10s of miles from the nearest exchange, if they are connected to the phone lines at all. What option do they have? This is a godsend to those people, and at a reasonable price too.
And not everyone uses the internet to play silly games. Personally I couldn't care less about latency times, and neither could many people.
If you check out their website they do indeed specifically state that it is not suitable for gaming. If someone wants to moan about it then go invent a new way to change the laws of physics to reduce the latency of a satellite link.
Satellite bandwidth is an expensive commodity. If you think about the cost to put a satellite into orbit versus the cost of a mobile tower or ADSL kit in an exchange you can see there is a massive difference. Now this means that generally contention ratios are more prominent on Satellie links and you are far far more likely to be sharing a single upload path with another 50 active users than you are on an ADSL exchange. This is the main reason why the network bandwidth has to be effectively managed on a Satellite network. If they're just employing draconian bandwidth caps then I must go have a word with them about it when my current contract runs out.
Satellite performance for web browsing and using the Internet is actually very good due to improvements in upload modulation techniques, connection acceleration and caching. Satellite is very suseptable to performance glitches due to people trying to use BitTorrent as the large number of connections opened will very quickly load up the connection accelerators and cause a performance hit across the network (related to throttling). Web browsing appears to be slower as it takes a second or two to start displaying the page, but in general the load times are comparable to an ADSL link (if the service is managed properly). I've done 1000's of side by side page loads between an ADSL link and a Satellite link. They give a different feel but the performance is roughtly the same.
Satellites are expensive 'nuff said. £400 for the ground station and £30 a month is very very reasonable for what you get. This isn't aimed at toppling BT for number 1 spot in the internet users charts. It's there to fill a void that the other providers can't be bothered to spend money in. For some people this is going to be the only option of high speed internet access so don't diss something that doesn't (and never will) apply to you.
> The equipment
Yes it transmits and receives. It doesn't use a phone line for those that missed it.
"the equipment will cost about £400. The monthly subscription for the new service will be similar to the £29.99 tariff for the existing package."
As others have noted, the existing 30 quid option is limited to 1.2 gigabytes per month, which negates the speed advantage (i.e. use the speed, exceed the cap in a week). Also none of the existing package dealers make the equipment available for 400 quid. More like 599 plus 200 to install.
If the new satellite comes with a better capacity limit at the same price, then OK, but nothing was said about this.
Latency- yes, various games won't work at all (Second Life) or are almost unplayable. VOIP or Skype also useless.
I have a different satellite service, with landline uplink instead of two-way by satellite. Still has latency problems, but a 3 Gigabyte per month capacity at about 30 quid. But I also have to have a dialup modem account, or (what I actually use) a mobile "broadband" account which is about as fast as dialup. That costs another 20 quid per month. This is a German service, but you can't deal with the Germans- they insist you deal with their UK subsidiary, who are also German and charge German VAT at 19%. The great thing about the UK subsidiary is that their website has been "under construction" for the last year and a half, so no new customers can sign up anyway. Nor can I access the account options I was promised at signup, which require logging in to the web pages.
A little competition in the field would be welcome, but it still looks like the "pay through the nose" option at this point.
"The "satellite" side of satellite broadband is download only, the upload is still via phone line (and presumably still slow).", and @Ian Wilson with the similar comment -- yes, effectively you DO have a ground station at your house. The return path DOES go back to the satellite -- probably lower power (and lower speed) than the main uplink, but it doesn't go through some DSL, phone, etc. return path. They've had 2-way satellite available here in the US for years (although last I checked modem-return was also available, main advantage being cheaper equipment.)
As for those who say other service is better -- yes it is. But, this is for people who have no DSL or cable available. 3G here in the states (Verizon's EVDO mainly, AT&T's absolutely glacial at building out HSDPA "in the sticks") is I'm sure digging hard into the satellite market. But still, there's areas with no 3G, and areas with no cellular coverage at all, as there certainly are in Europe. In these areas it's satellite or dialup (and, usually SLOW dialup since they're on a LOOOONG phone line.)
As for the confusion over 2mbps and 10mbps -- this just isn't that confusing. They are selling 2mbps service with their existing satellite, and selling 10mbps service next year when they have a new satellite launched, simple as that. Is the one technology even related to the other? I don't know, that IS an open question. But for marketing purposes it isn't 8-)
Isn't 150 milliseconds the target for latency. If these are geo-stationary satellites, then the latency just from the satellite round trip is around 250 milliseconds - and that's before any latency associated with the terrestrial network. Am I dreaming, or is the promise of a functional VOIP service just a pipe dream?
thats it, now i need a new place to live...
living in the internet city (a dump called Norwich) is getting too much
when you go to bed at night and suddenly start suffering tinitus/ flickering lights in your vision from the millions of wi-fi/DVB/3G/WiMax transmitters in the city, which for some reason get cranked up to maxamum power levels over night.
Wanted: comfy, spacious DEEP CAVE required for conversion to domestic home, preferably in the UK. running fresh water not a requirement, though would probably be nice, no mould would would also be nice, preferably near the coast. exclusive sea view/access only properties would probably not be suitable as they would get regular rinsedowns by the sea...
failing that i'm off to some part of poland or eastern europe where they are not going to throw up a mast for every person on just the offchance that someone might want to contact someone else.
hmm..... chenobyl sounds like a good idea, definatly no masts of any kind, no (operational) power lines, very few people living nearbly, lots of wildlife, definatly no problems with suitable free accomodation....
now where's my lead lined radiation suit and air scrubbers....
...but with your credit card and billing address information...
So the latency issue is still an issue...
And the data limit is still an issue...
The only person I can possibly think of that could use something like this would be a friend who works on oil rig supply ships, but then again you'd never keep the dish pointing in the right direction when you're bouncing about in the north sea!
Nothing new here... Move along!
I had the BT two-way satellite broadband quite a few years ago and have to say the whole service was crap from the offing. High ping times, ridiculous throttling and unstable speeds, plus the modem and software didn't get on terribly well together. I seem to remember it cost around 1000 quid at the time and I binned it after 6 months. I thought it would be ideal where I live - how wrong could I be? Within 3 weeks of installation I was getting the 'stop using it' emails, I wouldn't say I was hammering it by any means! I went back to dial-up and waited until my 1 Meg ADSL came along 2 years later, yeah, I'm quite rural! The moral of this story? Hell will freeze over before I ever consider a satellite service again!
I was a beta tester for Tiscali's attempt at doing this about 6 years ago. It too was a bi-directional via satellite service (no phone line required), and yes it did work after a fashion.
First issue was the 1.2m dish bolted to the side of my house - dont imagine for a minute you can get a sufficient strength uplink signal from a dinky sky sized dish.
Secondly just like Sky TV it was prone to the weather. Microwaves don't like going through water very much (ie cloud and rain, something we get a lot of). Yes on a normal overcast day things worked. But heavy rain did knock it side ways.
Finally (and I hope they don't make this mistake) at the groundstation they had a whopping great proxy/cache server inorder to minimise the backhaul requirements and to give an illusion of better performance (ie remove the additional cable based latency). Problem with this was two fold, sites that require constant refreshing ran like dogs because the cache had to be updated, and secondly sites that required a secure login got blocked by the proxy so were un-accessible.
1. Connect your computer to our sleek Tooway™ modem.
2. Connect your internal system to the small exterior satellite dish with two cables, one for reception and the other for transmission.
3. Your home system then sends and receives signals via satellite.
3. Your home system then sends and receives signals via satellite
ok, so no phorm, no uberdatabase, and its eutelsat, the company thats been providing satellite services at 13E, 28E and other places, for years, and they are not a fly by night company
in case Wikipedia is a bit of a novel concept, I will help you
Eutelsat S.A. is a French-based satellite provider. Providing coverage over the entire European continent, as well as the Middle East, Africa, India and significant parts of Asia and the Americas, it is one of the world's three leading satellite operators in terms of revenues.
Eutelsat’s satellites are used for broadcasting 3,200 television and 1000 radio stations to more than 187 million cable and satellite homes. They also serve requirements for TV contribution services, corporate networks, mobile positioning and communications, Internet backbone connectivity and broadband access for terrestrial, maritime and in-flight applications. Eutelsat is headquartered in Paris. Eutelsat Communications Chairman of the Board and (CEO) is Italian Giuliano Berretta.
Its main craft have traditionally operated from 4 positions, each separated by three degrees of the Clarke belt - 7, 10, 13 and 16°E; although more positions are now operated.
now, sensible comments please enfants.
OK - its hard to tell who is making valid comments around here, but from the point of view of someone who does literally live in the middle of nowhere and is TOTALLY dependent on satellite comms (and also operates networks) the following should be noted:-
- Latency - yup min 550ms (round trip) but more likely up to a second - depends on the contention ratios they are planning per spot beam
- VOIP - works fine - ask the customers who bypass our PSTN network (its funny how you ignore latency when a call is free plus its not the same as sat networks of old) - but if you have a bandwidth cap don't use Skype - its a shocking bandwidth hog
- Gaming - sure - it works - I have customers who do nothing but that.....
- Technology - been around for several years with Thaicom in SE Asia
- If the remotes are using Ku Band then ok - if they are running Ka band, then if it rains go get a brew, watch TV until it stops and make sure you have a download manager
- if you want basic broadband (as opposed to dialup) - then say thanks and proffer up your 30 quid - if you already have broadband shut the f*** up and go whine somewhere else.. this is not for you. For basic service the caps should not come in to effect unless you get the taste (torrents., movies, etc.)...... in that case wait until the telco expands its service or go watch TV..
- Eutelsat are no fly by nighters - they have studied the model - not sure what their break even is but they won't just get up and walk away without offering an alternative...
Just my two cents...
I've been stuck on satellite for years. All you pikeys think the latency is "ok" need to get a life. I'll take DSL at 768Kb/s over satellite 10Mb/s down, 200Kb/s up any day of the week....
This depends on your workload. What the sat provs haze out on are details like VPN isn't very well accelerated so expect lower bandwidths if you use VPN. Some applications (like x-windows or that atrocious excuse for bloatware Lotus) send bajillions of packets back and forth and you can imagine the (lack of) performance when each packet has 300-600mS added to its round trip time (I've seen pings up to 3000mS to VPN proxies although more typical is 900-1300mS). Watching utoob is OK, but doing work... nah.
Lest you think that only workers using VPN are affected, just take an https: link for a spin...
So why put up with the pain? because the local excuse for a phone company has copper that only runs 21k on a GOOD day, on a bad day it's down to 4800! In a major city metro area! The caps on wireless are too low (I need 7-15GB/month, far below anything currently available even if connections could be made where I am).
No, the satellite system in the article is NOT download only, it is satellite both ways. That's why the gubbins costs 400+ quid. It transmits back up to the satellite as well as receiving, and that makes the hardware more expensive. It also doubles the latency time as you get hit on both legs of the journey.
There are of course downlink only satellite systems as you describe, but this one is satellite in both directions. Hence the "Tooway" trademark.
Penguins have no landline.
With Geosynch orbit being about 42000Km from the centre of the Earth for an Earth station directly below it(on the equator) your looking at least 0.14secs 1 way. And of course we are rather farther above the equator. So a ping to the through to the Net will never be less than 280ms.
Note A sky digital channel needs about that level of bandwidth anyway. The operating frequency is a bit of a challenge. Not sure how many Sky channels go out one transponder
So how many transponders on the sat? How many simultaneous users?
This could end up being quite a small, expensive ISP.
But it doesn't have Phorm as standard. And it does make BT awkward.
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