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Orbiting at lower altitudes of between 500 and 1,200km (310 and 745 miles), they will also be able to reduce latency – the time taken to send a signal to the satellite and back, limited by the speed of light – reducing wait times. This might not be fast enough to play an online video game, but it could be enough to hold an audio conservation over the internet.
“None of the companies currently pursuing large satellite constellations for space-based internet have been able to provide a definitive guide to their pricing models,” says Williams, who thinks SpaceX may target around £50 a month. “The gold standard will be competing with terrestrial-based services. If , they’ll be forced to rely on customers that have few terrestrial alternatives.