More than 300 satellites will be put into orbit as China, inspired by US billionaire Elon Musk’s plan to get the entire world online, aims to establish a global Wi-Fi network of its own. Musk’s Starlink initiative reportedly consists of more than 12,000 interlinked satellites.
The state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has been tasked with developing and launching such satellites, the Beijing-based Science and Technology Daily reports.
One of the prime applications of China’s ultra-fast global Internet network is said to be to guide drones and enable them to transmit images and videos in real time, on top of the stated goal of helping reach residents of rural or remote places that fiber-optic cables and cellular towers do not reach.
Unlike Musk’s Starlink, whether the Chinese network will be accessible to third-party users, its timetable for implementation and connection speeds are still unclear.
China’s first high-throughput communication satellite, Shijian-13 (Practice-13), has been up and running in space after accomplishing an inauguratory two-way 5Gbps (gigabits per second) laser-communication test with its ground control center early this year.