Space-Based Networks: Types And Future Of Satellite Telecommunication

In a world where people explore and develop every corner of the Earth, where economies and societies are more interconnected than ever before, efficient wireless communications through terrestrial and satellite networks are essential.

Satellites play a crucial role in today’s digital economy, supporting a wide range of industries, from agriculture and banking to transportation. They also serve as a lifeline in emergencies and provide valuable insights for environmental protection.

Satellite communication involves using an artificial satellite to transmit signals. Over 2,000 space devices are currently in use. They are positioned in different orbits, and are employed for point-to-point communications, mobile applications, and TV/radio program distribution.

Telecommunication satellites were initially applied for point-to-point voice, video, and data transmission. Satellite-based solutions for telecommunication sector facilitated international communications and were later used domestically in some countries, especially the US. 

Improved undersea fibre-optic cables have challenged the communication sector, but space-based systems still remain significant. They provide connection, covering even the most remote and inaccessible places, including areas of harsh climate conditions. A reliable telecommunications infrastructure and network also significantly influences the development of national economies and the global market.

Pros and Cons of Satellite Telecommunications

Satellite technologies have changed the way we connect and communicate on a global level. Before using satellites, one could only dream of transmitting data, video signals or voice over long distances between continents. However, like everything in this world, satellite telecommunications have advantages and disadvantages.


  • Satellites orbiting the Earth can provide global coverage, reaching even the most remote corners of our planet. It is a precious communication tool in areas without terrestrial infrastructure.
  • The flexibility of satellite communications allows for rapid deployment in emergencies or areas affected by natural disasters. It enables quick restoration of communication, allowing emergency response teams to coordinate their efforts and provide practical assistance.
  • Satellites offer high-bandwidth capabilities for fast and reliable data transfer, making them ideal for video conferencing, live broadcasting, and internet connectivity.


  • Since the signal is transmitted over long distances, the delays happen often. It may hinder the effective use of real-time satellites.
  • Satellite communication is costly for some due to satellite and ground station launch and maintenance expenses.
  • Bad weather can disrupt satellite signals, causing signal loss or degradation. It can be a problem in areas with frequent severe weather.

Satellites can be used to provide Internet connectivity in areas where traditional terrestrial infrastructure is not available. However, in densely populated areas, the efficiency and speed of satellite Internet may be lower. The reasons are delays and bandwidth limitations. Either way, it is a valuable tool that provides global coverage and connects people worldwide. 

Types of Satellite Technologies for Telecommunication

The industry uses several types of satellites for different purposes: 

  • geostationary Earth orbit satellite
  • medium Earth orbit satellite
  • low earth orbit satellite.

GEO satellites scan the planet, moving at the same speed. This type of device does not provide Internet or processing of small transactions due to latency. However, its uses include multimedia services, voice communications, video-on-demand, and television broadcasting.

The MEO satellite is faster than GEO and operates with almost no latency while providing outstanding coverage. This type of satellite can be applied primarily for navigation applications and voice communications.

Low Earth orbit satellite is an ultra-high-speed communication tool for telecommunication systems and is the most efficient for communication. These satellites are expensive and require many to cover the entire planet. Companies investing in LEO reach profitable marketing segments and thus benefit.

Starlink by SpaceX uses low-orbit satellite tech to offer faster internet with low latency (20ms), better coverage and download speeds of 100-200Mbps. It helps rural areas connect and develop across healthcare, education, and government sectors.

This technology is an excellent tool for delivering interactive and responsive multimedia services and time-sensitive information. It is also widely used for accessing databases, sending emails, broadcasting breaking news, enabling distance learning, live-streaming video to your home, gathering news, conducting electronic transactions, and much more. Other applications include remote sensing, scientific discoveries, and other cutting-edge technological advancements demonstrating remarkable commercial and industrial innovation. 

Future of Satellite Telecommunications

Low-Earth orbit constellations are a reason for industrial innovation breakthrough. Unlike traditional geostationary satellites that cover only a fixed part of the globe, LEOs offer a set of series-produced satellites that cover the entire world and can evolve. Operators can add or replace units within the constellation as needed. LEOs are much closer to Earth and offer almost no latency.

Low Earth Orbit systems are promising, but there’s still a place to enhancement. Initially, these systems are limited to B2B and B2G uses due to the high cost of user equipment. Such projects require billions of dollars of initial investment, making their business models fragile.

New space technologies will benefit from the growing demand for end-user data consumption. The increase in LEO’s capacity will be crucial to meeting these demands efficiently.

New applications like 5G may require satellite connectivity for reliable service. Satellites can provide solutions for direct connectivity, backhaul, and redundancy for critical applications. That’s why they definitely have a future in telecommunications. 

In the future, satellite communication can be applied to air traffic management, mobile radio broadcasting, and aeronautical communication. Advancements in intelligent space communication systems are expected, and new technologies will be developed. 

As the world becomes increasingly global and space systems are more frequently used, improved space communication systems will be needed. Success will depend on seamless integration with terrestrial networks. It’s expected that GEO satellites will complement terrestrial systems. Revolutionary advancements in satellite communication could bring many space-age fantasies to life.


Rylie Holt