This past weekend saw everyone's favourite technology leader Japan launching a new communications satellite it hopes will give gigabit-speed internet connections to people across the Asia-Pacific region.
Dubbed 'Kizuna', the satellite is an updated version of the WINDS – Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite – launched back in 2005. The satellites aim to offer 155Mb/s downstream and 6Mb/s upstream connections to anyone with a suitable antenna, and will allegedly reach up to 1.2Gb/s downstream for those lucky enough to be able to strap a five meter antenna to the side of their house.
Part of the i-Space space infrastructure development project, the satellite is part of Japan's aim to promote the increased use of artificial satellites in Internet communications, disaster countermeasures and the much-vaunted Intelligent Transport Systems we're all still waiting for.
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency – JAXA – has high hopes for the project. In a statement issued Saturday the Agency stated that the new satellite will “make possible great advances in telemedicine, which will bring high-quality medical treatment to remote areas, and in distance education, connecting students and teachers separated by great distances.”
Not a single mention of BitTorrent. Surely some mistake?
The service is expected to go live this July following a period of set-up and configuration once the satellite has reached its stable orbit. As per usual, no information on pricing was made available.
Tempted on relocating to the Far East to get a taste of gigabit-speed 'net, or does the inevitable delays of satellite communication rule it out as anything other than a backchannel? Share your thoughts over in the forums