Spacex Starlink can help Sweden reach the broadband goal


Internet via satellite can be the way to fast connection for everyone in Sweden. Now PTS will analyze what opportunities – and challenges – the technology has.

A good connection makes society less vulnerable to scenarios such as the ongoing pandemic. For the Swedes, the transition to the home office went relatively smoothly, but the government still wants the connection to be even better.

The goal is for all households and companies to have access to fast broadband by 2025. The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency, PTS, has previously stated that satellite connection can be an alternative to cover the remaining households. Now the authority has received the government assignment to analyze what the possibilities look like and come up with proposals for measures.

Three parts must be met in order for the overall goal to be considered fulfilled: a download speed of 1 Gbps to 98 percent of the population, 100 Mbps to 99.9 percent and at least 30 Mbps to everyone in the country.

– According to PTS’s latest statistics, from October 2020, access to 1 Gbps and 100 Mbps was close to 95 percent, while access to 30 Mbps was close to 99 percent, writes Christian Höglund at PTS ‘unit for broadband collaboration in an email to Ny Teknik.

The sparsely populated area slips behind

He can not point out any specific geographical areas in the country where the continued broadband rollout is problematic.

– The households and companies that remain to be connected are mainly in sparsely populated areas, and are spread over almost the entire country, he writes.

With reference to the fact that PTS has recently received the government assignment, the authority today cannot answer how many satellites may be required for the task – or what capacity they may need.

PTS also does not want to comment on whether it may be relevant for Sweden to send up its own satellites.

Today, geostationary satellites (GSOs) are used globally for bidirectional data traffic, point-to-point connections (fixed satellite service). These are located along the equatorial line at an altitude of approximately 35,800 kilometers.

Space internet can be the solution

The advantage of GSO systems is that one and the same satellite can illuminate large geographical areas. At the same time, the distance between the earth’s surface and the satellite means that the radio signal is delayed, and thus the current space internet is not suitable for, for example, online games.

– What is starting to be realized now are non-geostationary satellite systems which, due to lower altitudes, mean that there is no form of delay of the radio signal. On the other hand, a satellite covers a very small area, which is compensated by the fact that such a system, such as Starlink, consists of thousands of small satellites that are constantly moving in different orbits, says Christian Höglund at PTS.

“Such satellite systems, if they are expanded to a sufficient extent, are suitable for broadband connections with good capacity,” he continues.

In connection with the inauguration of the new test facility at Esrange 2020 Minister of Space Matilda Ernkrans presented an initiative to further develop the space base so that it can launch satellites.

Several players want to compete with Starlink

With an increasing number of players, prices are now being pushed to launch satellites, which also makes it an affordable solution for internet connection.

An example is Spacex’s investment Starlink. Before the end of the year, the company’s satellite constellation will offer internet to a global audience.

In the buttocks of Elon Musk is Amazon with Project Kuiper. They plan to launch prototype satellites into low orbit by 2022.

Other players in the segment are Oneweb and Telesat – in addition to China’s plan to launch 13,000 satellites.


Source: Nyteknik – Senaste nytt by www.nyteknik.se.

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