The infrastructure required for satellite Internet is a large number of hub dishes and other standard equipment, such as routers for Internet connection. Besides these, satellite connection and bandwidth have to be taken on lease. This makes the cost of satellite Internet provision huge.
According to a survey, there were thirty-five million broadband users in 2004, out of which less than one million users have broadband connections other than cable and DSL. This means that the satellite Internet technology users are fewer in number, and there are severe hurdles in the adoption of the technology, such as natural weather patterns, inadequate technology to correct latency, and the slowness in uploading. These factors explain the fewer number of players in this market.
The satellite Internet industry in the U.S. market is characterized by the presence of eight or nine major players. Besides them, there are many small players and a number of resellers. The providers have presence over entire North or South America or over parts of North or South America, depending upon the leased satellite’s position. The range of solutions include web surfing, shared capacity for two-way access, and ftp-file transfers. The customers include residences, SOHO, small and medium enterprises, large enterprises, government offices, and vessels at sea.
The type of solutions include voice over IP, Virtual Private Networks and mobile Internet. The providers have to get licenses for linking to the satellite and the customers don’t have to. Each provider has different set of plans and features. A typical installation cost may be in the range of $3,000 to $5,000, and the monthly rental charges may be $50 to $80, which explains the reason for less proliferation of this technology.
The providers allow for five fifty-networked workstations per dish and a similar number of email accounts. The installation of these systems may take five to ten business days, and it requires a thorough discussion with the sales engineer of the provider before deciding on the system. Most of the providers have an online presence or they can be found by referrals.
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