Author Topic: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2  (Read 1096753 times)

Online DigitalMan

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1546
  • Liked: 1067
  • Likes Given: 74
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1240 on: 04/04/2020 06:24 pm »
The workaround to the custom/low cost terminal problem currently is to use the tricks being employed by either Lynk.Global or AST&Science's SpaceMobile, and do direct space 4G/5G so customers can use existing equipment more or less, but that faces a different frequency allocation issue. Though Musk would probably favor a flying tower system more like Lynk to make good use of satellite interconnects, rather than a bent pipe relay like SpaceMobile, and he would likely avoid voice/telephony and go pure data to avoid all the complications that come with POTS interconnection (including CALEA type tapping).


In the end, telephony is data. CALEA issues are the responsibility of the service provider; Skype and whoever, not the backbone.

SpaceX will need to provide telephone service if they want FCC rural broadband subsidy.

I can hear Elon saying 'Hold my beer'.

Being reliable, providing 911 service shouldn't be breaking new ground.

Edit: I'm more interested in seeing when they finish the investigation from the last launches engine failure and get back to putting up more birds.  I'm really looking forward to seeing customers sign up and see the speedtest.net results.

There is a minor investor that has 'dabbled' in telephone service.

Online david1971

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 228
  • Liked: 112
  • Likes Given: 15320
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1241 on: 04/04/2020 06:35 pm »
Edit: I'm more interested in seeing when they finish the investigation from the last launches engine failure and get back to putting up more birds.  I'm really looking forward to seeing customers sign up and see the speedtest.net results.

Assuming there isn't a large gap in launches, is there a current estimate as to when they will "turn on" the system for customers?  Is the number of satellites in the sky the pacing issue at this point, or is it ground infrastructure?

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1948
  • Liked: 1958
  • Likes Given: 8556
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1242 on: 04/04/2020 06:36 pm »
On cost of the user satellite terminal. If it wasn't for the servo aiming system, I'd have said it was easy to keep the manufacturing cost under $100. Standard automated PCB assembly equipment can make the antenna array and driver hardware. After that is stick it into the case, test, and box it. I've commented some on what I think it takes to make it in the hardware thread. The servo aiming system likely adds over $50 to the manufacturing cost.

Issues I see is snow and ice buildup, as well as bird nests.

But how much for the silicon?  That is not always inexpensive, even at this quantity order-of-magnitude.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2020 06:36 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline DistantTemple

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1870
  • England
  • Liked: 1626
  • Likes Given: 2652
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1243 on: 04/04/2020 07:45 pm »
Without reading far above - I have scanned the thread a few times...
Keeping the terminal to $100, or $150 is IMO not nearly as important as we think. Currently home internet routers are pretty cheap, even if you decide to actually buy one instead of it being part of a contract.

However
1. The importance of a good connection in an otherwise poor to impossible location, allows for a higher cost.
2. We have (if you have brought up kids) become accustomed to buying games consoles for several $100's, and to signing contracts for iPhones etc valued as $600 or more... for them to be obsolete and broken or lost within their two year contract.
3. EM doesn't seem to like "throwaway" technology, so it is more likely a longer service life, (and firmware(etc) upgrades), will be designed into the contractual terms than the current providers do. This will spread the cost. EM also like elegance and good engineering, so defects, and deterioration are unlikely.

So if the terminal is $600, with $200 paid upfront and the rest a component of a 3 year contract, it would add $8 to the monthly tariff (excluding that initial $300), which would not be a show stopper at all. So ISTM SX has loads of room with its cost.

Will SX deliberately allow shared accounts, or shared use. If so that would also reduce the effective cost of the device.
We can always grow new new dendrites. Reach out and make connections and your world will burst with new insights. Then repose in consciousness.

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9183
  • US
  • Liked: 11552
  • Likes Given: 5162
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1244 on: 04/04/2020 07:59 pm »
https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-launches-20-billion-rural-digital-opportunity-fund-0
Quote
42. All Rural Digital Opportunity Fund support recipients, like all other high-cost ETCs, will be required to offer standalone voice service and offer voice and broadband services at rates that are reasonably comparable to rates offered in urban areas.122 Some commenters urge the Commission to eliminate the standalone voice requirement. WISPA argues that RDOF recipients should not be required to offer standalone voice service, because, consumers increasingly are subscribing to voice as a component of their broadband connections.123 SpaceX claims the standalone voice requirement is no longer useful for nearly all consumers because Americans no longer choose to buy standalone voice, and the requirement adds costs to develop and make available voice equipment and provide voice-specific customer support.124 GeoLinks urges the Commission to simply require that auction winners offer a voice service option, which can be available via a service bundle.125 The National Association of Counties states that “unfortunately, the unintended consequence of this requirement would prevent willing and able entities from providing high-speed broadband internet services solely because they do not provide voice services in addition to broadband.”126

43. Section 254 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, gives the Commission the authority to support telecommunications services, which the Commission has defined as “voice telephony service.”127 The Commission made clear when it adopted the standalone voice requirement as a condition of receiving Connect America Fund support in 2011 that the definition of the supported service, voice telephony service, is technologically neutral, allowing ETCs to provision voice service over many platforms.128 When it adopted the broadband reasonable rate comparability requirement in 2014, the Commission explained that “high-cost recipients are permitted to offer a variety of broadband service offerings as long as they offer at least one standalone voice service plan and one service plan that provides broadband that meets our requirements.”129 In 2018, the Commission dismissed requests to eliminate the standalone voice requirement.130 The Commission reasoned that auction funding recipients, unlike funding recipients of other USF mechanisms, “may be the only ETC offering voice in some areas and not all consumers may want to subscribe to broadband service.”131 The record does not show that these facts have changed, and voice telephony is still the supported service. Therefore, we require all ETCs receiving Rural Digital Opportunity Fund support to provide standalone voice service meeting the reasonable comparability requirements in the areas in which they receive support.

122 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17693-94, 17708, paras. 80, 84, 113; December 2014 Connect
America Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 15686-87, paras. 120-23; WCB Reminds Connect America Fund Phase II Auction
Participants of the Process for Obtaining a Federal Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier, 33
FCC Rcd 6696, 6697-99; see also 47 CFR § 54.313(a)(2), (3); 2020 Urban Rate Survey Public Notice.
123 WISPA Comments at 10-11. WISPA claims that, so long as voice is offered along with broadband service and
the voice service meets the functional “voice-grade” requirements of section 54.101, the statutory obligation will
have been satisfied.
124 SpaceX Comments at 4.
125 GeoLinks Comments at 8; see also Pacific Dataport Comments at 5; ADTRAN Reply Comments at 17.
126 National Association of Counties Comments at 2 (also arguing non-ETCs should be allowed to participate if only
option for connecting a community).
127 47 U.S.C. § 254(c)(1); 47 CFR § 54.101.
128 USF/ICC Transformation Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 17692, paras. 77-78.
129 December 2014 Connect America Order, 29 FCC Rcd at 156887, para. 120 (footnote omitted).
130 Phase II Auction Reconsideration Order, 32 FCC Rcd at 1387, para. 20.
131 Id.; but see SpaceX Comments at 5 (arguing the Commission has deemphasized voice services in other types of
universal service support).


(ETC)= eligible telecommunications carrier

Online OTV Booster

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4402
  • Terra is my nation; currently Kansas
  • Liked: 3015
  • Likes Given: 4934
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1245 on: 04/04/2020 08:58 pm »
The workaround to the custom/low cost terminal problem currently is to use the tricks being employed by either Lynk.Global or AST&Science's SpaceMobile, and do direct space 4G/5G so customers can use existing equipment more or less, but that faces a different frequency allocation issue. Though Musk would probably favor a flying tower system more like Lynk to make good use of satellite interconnects, rather than a bent pipe relay like SpaceMobile, and he would likely avoid voice/telephony and go pure data to avoid all the complications that come with POTS interconnection (including CALEA type tapping).


In the end, telephony is data. CALEA issues are the responsibility of the service provider; Skype and whoever, not the backbone.

SpaceX will need to provide telephone service if they want FCC rural broadband subsidy.

I have an arrangement with an ISP to have a data pipe into my home. They provide no service other than the data pipe. I am free to arrange any services I wish through that pipe, including telephony.

What would probably happen is SL service will come with one or more third party add on that the end user is free to accept or reject. Sort of like how so many software packages include a stub to set up MacAfee.

SL might bundle third party telephony but like the SX model is transport, not content (let’s ignore SL as content), SL will provide the pipe, not fill it.

This should satisfy any FCC requirements. They’re interested in getting telephony out there, not the nuts and bolts of the business model.

Phil


Edit: I just saw Gongora’s post. If I read it correctly it allows this model - I think.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2020 09:10 pm by OTV Booster »
We are on the cusp of revolutionary access to space. One hallmark of a revolution is that there is a disjuncture through which projections do not work. The thread must be picked up anew and the tapestry of history woven with a fresh pattern.

Offline Hummy

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Los Angeles
  • Liked: 206
  • Likes Given: 172
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1246 on: 04/05/2020 04:27 am »

I have an arrangement with an ISP to have a data pipe into my home. They provide no service other than the data pipe. I am free to arrange any services I wish through that pipe, including telephony.

What would probably happen is SL service will come with one or more third party add on that the end user is free to accept or reject. Sort of like how so many software packages include a stub to set up MacAfee.

SL might bundle third party telephony but like the SX model is transport, not content (let’s ignore SL as content), SL will provide the pipe, not fill it.

This should satisfy any FCC requirements. They’re interested in getting telephony out there, not the nuts and bolts of the business model.

Phil

Edit: I just saw Gongora’s post. If I read it correctly it allows this model - I think.

No, standalone voice means customers must be able to buy voice only without data. Also the cost of a voice plan with a user terminal must be reasonably comparable to a standalone voice plan with equipment charges in urban areas. To be fair the FCC defines reasonably comparable as up to two standard deviations (2 x $9.98) above the urban average ($34.81) so a standalone voice plan with a user terminal can cost up to $54.76 a month. That's pretty high.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2020 04:31 am by Hummy »

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 36094
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 20421
  • Likes Given: 10602
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1247 on: 04/05/2020 01:52 pm »

I have an arrangement with an ISP to have a data pipe into my home. They provide no service other than the data pipe. I am free to arrange any services I wish through that pipe, including telephony.

What would probably happen is SL service will come with one or more third party add on that the end user is free to accept or reject. Sort of like how so many software packages include a stub to set up MacAfee.

SL might bundle third party telephony but like the SX model is transport, not content (let’s ignore SL as content), SL will provide the pipe, not fill it.

This should satisfy any FCC requirements. They’re interested in getting telephony out there, not the nuts and bolts of the business model.

Phil

Edit: I just saw Gongora’s post. If I read it correctly it allows this model - I think.

No, standalone voice means customers must be able to buy voice only without data. Also the cost of a voice plan with a user terminal must be reasonably comparable to a standalone voice plan with equipment charges in urban areas. To be fair the FCC defines reasonably comparable as up to two standard deviations (2 x $9.98) above the urban average ($34.81) so a standalone voice plan with a user terminal can cost up to $54.76 a month. That's pretty high.
$55/month? I see no problem here, then.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Eka

Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1248 on: 04/05/2020 07:12 pm »
On cost of the user satellite terminal. If it wasn't for the servo aiming system, I'd have said it was easy to keep the manufacturing cost under $100. Standard automated PCB assembly equipment can make the antenna array and driver hardware. After that is stick it into the case, test, and box it. I've commented some on what I think it takes to make it in the hardware thread. The servo aiming system likely adds over $50 to the manufacturing cost.

Issues I see is snow and ice buildup, as well as bird nests.

But how much for the silicon?  That is not always inexpensive, even at this quantity order-of-magnitude.

Price depends a lot on how many sq mm the chip is, and chip gate density. I was budgeting $25 for the chipset. This assumes 100,000 volume production of the chip(s). By far the most expensive part.
We talk about creating a Star Trek future, but will end up with The Expanse if radical change doesn't happen.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 30980
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 55475
  • Likes Given: 25057
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1249 on: 04/05/2020 08:13 pm »
I found this an interesting, and critical, read on SpaceX’s Starlink claims as part of its bid for FCC funding:

https://twitter.com/m_ladovaz/status/1246887524011835394

Quote
My new blog post on the FCC's potential $16B SpaceX RDOF problem http://tmfassociates.com/blog/2020/04/05/spacex-and-the-fccs-16b-problem/

I don’t have the background to know whose claims are more accurate. 
« Last Edit: 04/05/2020 08:15 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9183
  • US
  • Liked: 11552
  • Likes Given: 5162
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1250 on: 04/05/2020 08:20 pm »
I found this an interesting, and critical, read on SpaceX’s Starlink claims as part of its bid for FCC funding:

https://twitter.com/m_ladovaz/status/1246887524011835394

Quote
My new blog post on the FCC's potential $16B SpaceX RDOF problem http://tmfassociates.com/blog/2020/04/05/spacex-and-the-fccs-16b-problem/

I don’t have the background to know whose claims are more accurate.

That entire post is garbage.

Offline ccdengr

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 521
  • Liked: 374
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1251 on: 04/05/2020 08:28 pm »
That entire post is garbage.
Care to explain why, in detail?

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9183
  • US
  • Liked: 11552
  • Likes Given: 5162
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1252 on: 04/05/2020 09:04 pm »
That entire post is garbage.
Care to explain why, in detail?

He keeps throwing around $16B like that's a number SpaceX would get, when he knows very well that no company will get anywhere near that amount.

He basically says SpaceX is lying about the ability to provide low latency service.  He then compares it to Iridium, which routes traffic over crosslinks to get to one of a small number of ground stations, resulting in higher latency.  SpaceX has already filed for more ground stations in the U.S. than Iridium uses globally.  The lack of crosslinks on the current SpaceX satellites will actually enforce lower latency.

He keeps saying the system is untested.  From a deployed consumer user terminal perspective that may be true, but SpaceX has obviously been testing the network (as has DoD) and know what kind of performance they're getting.

He says the terminals will need mechanical steering, which is just not true.  (Mechanical steering means continually following the satellites as they move across the sky, not a one-time setup routine to point it in a good direction.)

He says features such as crosslinks are "discarded", when in some cases, such as crosslinks, they are merely delayed.  I don't really doubt his claims that the satellites don't currently reallocate capacity on the fly, but that would just reduce the overall throughput (number of people served per satellite), not stop the constellation from working.

He thinks its a bad thing that SpaceX is writing their own software, and should be relying on a subcontractor like Hughes or Viasat.   That's nonsense.  It may take SpaceX longer than intended to implement all of the intended features, but there's no reason they can't produce their own software.

He says it's "truly outrageous" that SpaceX would be allowed to bid before they bring their network into service.  Well, none of the other bidders are required to have their network in service before bidding either, and he doesn't seem to be complaining about that.

This part is a real gem: "So SpaceX could then take the FCC’s money, never provide service to a single customer that the money was meant to help, and reallocate its capacity to serve other users like the DoD anywhere within the country or even the rest of the world."  The auction has rules about actually providing service.  If they aren't providing service after three years then they would be kicked out of the program and have to pay back at least some of the money.  As the program is for a ten year term a company can't get all of that allocated funding without actually providing service.  If he thinks SpaceX can reallocate its capacity from rural America to "the rest of the world" then Mr. Farrrar apparently doesn't have a very good understanding of how LEO constellations work.

He's basically saying, throughout the post, that SpaceX will not be able to get their network performance within the criteria for the auction and will commit fraud if they get funding.  It's a garbage post.

Offline ccdengr

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 521
  • Liked: 374
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1253 on: 04/05/2020 09:38 pm »
He says it's "truly outrageous" that SpaceX would be allowed to bid before they bring their network into service.  Well, none of the other bidders are required to have their network in service before bidding either, and he doesn't seem to be complaining about that.
As far as I can tell, most or all of the other RDOF competitors will be using terrestrial network buildouts, which is a well-established technology that hardly needs feasibility demonstration.  GEO services like Viasat are likely to be at a severe disadvantage and may not even end up bidding depending on how the latency rules shake out.  https://www.telecompetitor.com/fcc-proposes-bidding-procedures-for-october-rdof-auction/

Is the post a little hyperbolic?  Sure.  Is it utterly without merit ("garbage") based on what we know and don't know about Starlink?  I think that's an overstatement.  I don't think the federal government subsidizing Starlink's basic development and deployment was what the intent of RDOF was.  If Starlink was the panacea some claim, it would simply win in the marketplace, not have to slurp from the government trough.

I'm not expecting to get a lot of traction on this site with this view, but it's been hard for me to separate the reality from the hype for Starlink.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2020 09:40 pm by ccdengr »

Offline RedLineTrain

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1948
  • Liked: 1958
  • Likes Given: 8556
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1254 on: 04/05/2020 10:00 pm »
Is the post a little hyperbolic?  Sure.  Is it utterly without merit ("garbage") based on what we know and don't know about Starlink?  I think that's an overstatement.

Tim has never had a good thing to say about SpaceX, Starlink, or Musk (read his blog for yourself).  He thinks SpaceX is on the brink of bankruptcy, even though it raised a billion last year at a $30-$35 billion valuation and a half billion so far this year at a $36 billion valuation.

He has no insight on SpaceX, Starlink, or Musk.  He hears negative rumors from people who have no special insight and takes it as fact.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2020 10:06 pm by RedLineTrain »

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9183
  • US
  • Liked: 11552
  • Likes Given: 5162
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1255 on: 04/05/2020 10:05 pm »
Is the post a little hyperbolic?  Sure.

It's more than a little hyperbolic.

I don't think the federal government subsidizing Starlink's basic development and deployment was what the intent of RDOF was.  If Starlink was the panacea some claim, it would simply win in the marketplace, not have to slurp from the government trough.

Actually, subsidizing the deployment of a network is the whole point of RDOF.  And "slurp from the government trough"?  You think SpaceX should just decline any chances to use government funds and let other more worthy companies get the money instead?  If SpaceX can provide the service then why shouldn't they participate in the program?  You and Mr. Farrar both seem to think that SpaceX can't initiate Starlink service without money from RDOF, and the technology is far too unproven for them to be allowed to compete.

Did SpaceX meet all of the initial goals for the Starlink design in the time they initially said they would?  Of course not.  Elon made a decision to cut some features from the initial design to speed up deployment.  Service isn't going to start right after the sixth launch.  Neither of those means Starlink is a work of fantasy that won't ever go into service with decent performance.  I get tired of some of the over-optimism from SpaceX amazing peoples too, but you're going just as far in the opposite direction.

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 36094
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 20421
  • Likes Given: 10602
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1256 on: 04/05/2020 10:25 pm »
I can confirm that gongora is an equal opportunity $***-giver and knows more about this probably even than Tim due to keeping track of the public details extremely carefully.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline ccdengr

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 521
  • Liked: 374
  • Likes Given: 60
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1257 on: 04/05/2020 10:29 pm »
If SpaceX can provide the service then why shouldn't they participate in the program?
Where should the government draw the line between subsidizing basic development (and taking a risk it won't pan out) and simply expanding capacity of an established operational service?  I'm not sure, and I don't know what RDOF's intent was or the history of similar state and federal broadband subsidy programs, but I'd have thought that basic development was not what they had in mind.  As one example, while there was some new distribution technology developed as part of the original 1936 REA ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Electrification_Act ) it's not like basic electrical standards had to be invented from scratch.

As to what happens with RDOF, I guess only time will tell.

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it.

Offline wannamoonbase

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4825
  • Denver, CO
    • U.S. Metric Association
  • Liked: 2558
  • Likes Given: 3259
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1258 on: 04/05/2020 11:28 pm »
Did SpaceX meet all of the initial goals for the Starlink design in the time they initially said they would?  Of course not.  Elon made a decision to cut some features from the initial design to speed up deployment.  Service isn't going to start right after the sixth launch.  Neither of those means Starlink is a work of fantasy that won't ever go into service with decent performance.  I get tired of some of the over-optimism from SpaceX amazing peoples too, but you're going just as far in the opposite direction.

I respect and like that Starlink's initial deployment were scaled back from global coverage.  Let's admit for a moment that deploying a global network and being a worldwide ISP is a level of madness seldom seen.

Scaling back to provide that service in the US, where you are based and licensed makes sense.  Get up, fly birds, make revenue and get licensed in other countries.

SpaceX does not have bottomless pockets, get that cashflow going.  All the other stuff can be added later as they launch the next 39,000 satellites.
Superheavy + Starship the final push to launch commit!

Online gongora

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9183
  • US
  • Liked: 11552
  • Likes Given: 5162
Re: Starlink : General Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1259 on: 04/05/2020 11:32 pm »
I can confirm that gongora is an equal opportunity $***-giver and knows more about this probably even than Tim due to keeping track of the public details extremely carefully.

I have no doubt Tim Farrar knows a heck of a lot more about the telecom industry than I do, but posts like the one above are just so over the top in their derision towards SpaceX that I can't take what he says seriously.

Tags: pole flip 
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
0