Should the UN have its own LEO Satellites?

LEO is short for Low Earth Orbit.

LEO Satellites can provide broadband Internet to the whole of the earth’s surface.

Currently, an estimated 2.6 Billion people remain unconnected to the Internet.

That means one-third of the earth’s human population, can’t go online.

Whilst the reasons are not just due to lack of coverage, it is a factor.

LEO Satellites, and in particular the latest innovation of direct communication between satellite and mobile (Cell) Phone, has the potential to reach unconnected remote areas.

But should the UN (United Nations) have its own satellites?

Currently, there are two companies that have successfully launched and demonstrated ‘sat2handset’.

These companies are AST Space Mobile, & Lynk.

But they are commercial companies, and in the case of AST Space Mobile, Shareholders.

Therefore need to make profits.

The UN (United Nations) has set seventeen Sustainable Development Goals known as the SDGs.

These goals include SDG4, which aims to provide quality education and lifelong learning opportunities, for everyone worldwide.

Unfortunately at the halfway point in the initiative, we are not on target.

The 17 SDG targets were agreed in 2015, with a completion target date of 2030.

During the #SDGDIGITAL conference at the United Nations on 17th September 2023, a speaker revealed that we would need to connect people at a rate of 1 Million a day, starting now, in order to connect everyone by the 2030 target date.

Clearly, this is not happening, despite some really great announcement pledges being made at the conference, by the leading telecommunications operators.

Therefore a UN-sponsored LEO Satellite system would help achieve the SDGs, particularly in the goals of Education (SDG4), and Health (SDG3).

Imagine being able to connect to local village terminals, or even directly to donated Mobile / Cell phones, which could serve as WIFI Routers.

Direct to Mobile (Cell) from LEO Satellite, now exists.

The UN could either pay for its own system, or partner with the existing commercial companies, to provide the service.

I suppose you could think of the arrangement, as being similar to a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator).

Should the UN have its own LEO Satellites?

Published by Craig Miles

Craig Miles

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