Sky is the limit as SAS tests nanosatellite phone calls
Link copied to
Sky and Space Global has finished testing its nanosatellite phone service, paving the way for commercialisation.
The Israeli company said it had successfully tested phone, text message, voice and image data transfers during a two-month trial period. It also tested a ‘store and forward’ capability which stores messages in the satellite’s memory before downloading it to the person on the other end.
Sky and Space Global (ASX:SAS) sent three “Cubesats” — 10cm x 10cm x 30cm nanosatellites — into orbit from India’s Space Research Organisation in June.
SAS says it’s the first company to successfully use narrowband connectivity offered by nanosatellites to make a phone call.
‘Narrowband’ means the communications link uses a smaller frequency range, or bandwidth, and can only provide low data rates, such as 56 kbps.
The company has been contacted for comment on whether the transmission of images and other large data chunks was just a test to see if it was possible, or whether the system is better than expected.
SAS intends the technology to be used largely in developing countries, where data networks and connectivity is poor.
“Now that the technology is proven, the validation of SAS’ narrowband communication services allows the company to focus on building its constellation of 200 satellites,” the company said.
SAS says that constellation could be worth $US600 million to $US1 billion in revenues one day,
Its first deal was with Sat-Space Africa, a pan-African communications company.
SAS shares bounced 3 per cent to 18.5c, valuing it at $295 million.