Patent published on October 24, 2023

Patent Could Make HughesNet Gen5 Reach Remote Areas with Internet

Satellite internet service provider, Hughes Network Systems, has been issued a patent that aims to tackle prevalent internet accessibility issues in far-flung areas. The patent, US11799543B2, christened "Community broadband LTE access over satellite", promises an innovative approach to provide internet to people in remote locations.

Often, individuals in secluded areas have to journey to the nearest Wi-Fi access point, which is typically limited to a range of about 100-150 meters, to connect to the internet. This dependence on physical proximity to the access point and adherence to retailer hours significantly limits their access to the internet.

The newly patented technology intends to circumvent such limitations. Hughes Network Systems plans to establish a base station in the isolated area that functions similarly to a community Wi-Fi, where people can purchase internet access for certain durations - from an hour to a month. The base station will operate by a combination of both LTE and Wi-Fi methods to deliver internet, promising more comprehensive coverage than current set-ups.

This new approach hopes to bridge the digital divide by catering to regions where the expense of traditional cellular network subscriptions poses a problem. With this technology, recurring charges are avoided, allowing users to buy broadband connectivity as needed. Meanwhile, the consolidation of the base station, broadband core network, and satellite terminal all within a remote location is intended to optimize the data usage over the satellite terminal and provide more efficient connection to the internet. By serving as a community-based Wi-Fi hub, it extends internet access to a much wider geographical area. The LTE base station could span up to five kilometers from its base point, a significant increase from the limited few hundred meters of a typical Wi-Fi hotspot.

The patent proposes permeating internet usage in the daily lives of people in remote areas, making education, entertainment, and connecting with the world beyond their locality more achievable. A student studying in their home, a small scale business owner updating his online store or a farmer checking the latest weather forecast will no longer have to travel distances to get connected.

However, it's imperative to note that while the outlined plans and intent are promising, there's no assurance that this specific patented technology will make its way to the market. Like every patent, whether it will evolve from blueprint to usable technology depends on numerous factors including but not limited to successful testing, financial feasibility, logistics, and market demand.

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