RaySat will soon be shipping a two-way satellite link that will let a moving vehicle connect to the Net. Unlike the TracVision and Winegard products Raysat will allow for two-way Internet access in addition to satellite TV reception.
The RaySat antenna is a 5-inch-high, pancake-shaped, hybrid phased-array unit and is small enough to fit on top of a van or SUV. There are even units in development that will be built into the roof of vehicles giving a completely integrated look. Imagine the possibilities full-time broadband Internet access in our cars will create. For example real-time traffic reports integrated with your GPS to guide you around traffic tie-ups (this service is already available but is cellular based). Streaming audio and video from millions of websites. Forget about listening to local radio or being limited to one-way satellite radio when fully interactive Internet Radio will be available. The possibilities are endless.
RaySat’s low profile (5.7”) SpeedRay™ antennas provide in-motion satellite TV and/or high speed Internet access in passenger vehicles. The SpeedRay™ antenna mounts securely to the roof-racks of most vans, mini-vans or SUVs and special mounting solutions are available for RVs and trucks.
The company expects Internet download speeds of up to 4MB per second, with a maximum of 128Kbps upstream. At this time it is unknown if latency will cause problems with on-line gaming and VoIP use.
Steve Hendricks of competitor mobilsat claims their product will support VoIP solutions so one would suppose that such use is possible via satellite connections. As more Internet users insist on using applications that require lower latency numbers the question will be if satellite can meet their performance needs. Typical cable modems have latency times of less than 100ms. Above 200ms can be a problem for tasks such as VoIP that require low round-trip times. Some satellite based Internet solutions still deliver actual latency numbers in the 500ms+ range which is unacceptable for most real-time interactive applications.
One thing is for sure with products like Verizon Wireless Broadband, mobile satellite and expanding availability of WiFi hotspots mobile access to the Internet is only going to get better and more affordable.
Here are some of the leaders in mobile Internet solutions:
http://www.verizonwireless.com (cellular based)
http://internetfrog.com/ (test your Internet connection quality here)
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