HiSky has announced the introduction of Smartellite, a small portable device that uses advanced phased array beam steering antennas to automatically locate satellites at any location. According to the company, a proprietary built-in modem designed for low-to-medium bit rates allows for the fast acquisition of satellite signals while the network management system is designed to provide voice and low bit-rate data communication services. HiSky already has several registered patents for this solution.
Using low cost Ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity to create a Wi-Fi hotspot, Smartellite eliminates the need for users to connect satellite calls via high-cost traditional satellite providers. Satellite services have been available since the 1990s, but calls have remained costly – averaging between $1 and $5 a minute, according to the company – limiting satellite communication to emergency situations or only when absolutely necessary.
The integration of these technologies together with the next generation of satellites enables hiSky to achieve an efficient mobile satellite network for voice and low bit-rate data services even when on the go.