The broadcast data startup, Outernet, has installed CubeSat facility in Kenya to transmit free internet to any Wi-Fi enabled device.
Outernet, with the use of CubeSat, the satellite of a very low mass (1.33 kilogram) and size, is providing free WI-FI service at low cost in Kenya for the poor and the technology deprived people. CubeSats broadcasts from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and in an additional frequency (UHF) which enables cheaper hardware to pick up signals easily.
According to Syed Karim, CEO of Outernet, “This project is not just about producing test hardware for Outernet to use in advancing our mission, but about refining a process that changes the entire communications industry.”
Outernet has received funding from the UK Space Agency, UK’s Clyde Space, who will continue to provide the CubeSat expertise for expansion to reach many more people on the planet. They will also develop cheaper user-end receivers, this will allow Outernet gain hardware independence by owning its own space assets.
Craig Clark, Clyde Space CEO, added, “Outernet is an ambitious and hugely important initiative to bring free information access to the World and we’re absolutely thrilled to be involved. The mission itself is a great example of how a spacecraft that is small enough to hold in your hand can provide what I believe will become a vital global service. That’s not to say the technical challenges of making a satellite this small are insignificant, but our team of spacecraft engineers and technicians are relishing the prospect of producing these spacecraft in the coming months.”
Outernet is the modern version of shortwave radio and aims to put over 3 billion people who aren’t online due to cost, geography or jurisdiction.