An alternative to cable internet is satellite internet. The availability of free frequencies is the first need for using it; the benefit is that there are no geographical limitations.
What advantages will satellite internet bring to Armenia, and what difficulties will it actually meet? One of the professional circle’s conversations at the seventh Armenian Internet Governance Forum (ArmIGF-2022).
Because the satellite signal is equally accessible in both highland and lowland portions of the nation, satellite Internet may operate at the same speed throughout the entire country. All we have to do is set up a network of land stations. These stations’ function is to receive the satellite signal and transmit it to the servers. Currently, it is less expensive than cable internet, according to Grigori Saghyan, Vice-chair of “Internet Society” NGO.
Since the issue is related to security, which is crucial for Armenia, the installation of satellite Internet means the resolution of numerous issues, which calls for both a state approach and the involvement of private businesses.
The implementation of satellite Internet requires a finite number of frequencies. No matter how far-reaching the idea of using satellite Internet connectivity may seem, we must first determine whether it is possible to free up the required frequencies. Today, a part of them is used by state departments, including for defense and security needs,” said Karen Grigoryan, head of the telecommunications department of the Ministry of High-Tech Industry of RA.
However, experts state that satellite is inferior to broadband Internet by some standards. For example, national regulators cannot apply filters against unwanted resources, only the operator will have such an opportunity. In addition, with satellite Internet, the site’s loading lasts longer.
According to Dan York, head of the “Low Earth Orbit Satellite” project of the “Internet Society” organization, the listed is temporary, as Internet connection speeds can increase with many new satellites entering orbit. They are released not one by one, but by thousands of “constellations”. Already 16 companies have applied to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to launch such “constellations”.
In addition to the “Starlink” project belonging to “SpaceX”, the “OneWeb” company also launched its satellite Internet network, and “Amazon” is going to do the same.
The RA Ministry of High-tech Industry is currently holding discussions with the Public Services Regulatory Commission in order to resolve the prospects of introducing satellite Internet and related technical and other issues. The government expects to record results at the end of the next year.