How does Outernet send data to its sats now?

I ask because, in a sense, that is already two-way communication, isn’t it?

I’m assuming it involves a lot of large and expensive equipment for you right now.

But what is Outernet envisioning as a transmitter for your users, assuming everything were to go as you hope?

How would it transmit and what are some of the obstacles that you are expecting to face or that will have to be overcome?

Sorry for the barrage of questions but I’m trying to get an idea of how an Outernet limited two-communication might work and the hardware involved so I can possibly offer ideas for easier implementation.


We generate a content stream that is sent over the internet to the teleport. The teleport operator, depending one where the satellite its, either uplinks the content, or sends it to another teleport that is in view of the satellite.

The transmitter that we are envisioning would be a small (book-sized) device that does not require an external dish. This is completely different from the way we upload content to the service. The biggest obstacle to offering a two-way service is the cost of the equipment. This is not actually new technology, it’s just expensive technology.

To get an idea of what I’m talking about, please google “Inmarsat BGAN”.

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Interesting. I’d never heard of Inmarsat BGAN before.

As far as the expense, doesn’t the Spot Connect provide a more basic (just text) Sat communication but in a $150 device?

Could you crowdfund your own version of a Spot?

Well, we would not crowdfund anything until we actually delivered on what we originally set out to build. But to answer your question, yes the Spot Connect is similar. The difference is that the Spot does not receive any content. Our goal is to provide lots of content and a small return path. The Spot only provides the small return path.

The big picture is to deliver 5GB of digital media per day to a portable satellite transceiver. Universal access to information, as well as freedom of expression in the form of a free messaging application.

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So you’re basically eyeing tech with more ability than I was expecting or even asking. In that case, if the technology is available for a rich media experience and getting inexpensive enough for Outernet to consider using it in their plans, of course I would want to see that.

I can’t speak for anyone else but as a purchaser of Lantern, I should tell you I would be totally happy with having Lantern for receiving data and a separate second device for transmitting even just primitive text. That would be awesome in itself. Because, in reality, you’d literally would have a second and free internet right there. People wouldn’t bother copying data from the paid Internet at that point. They would abandon it and submit their content directly to Outernet, eventually. I know I would.

And knowing this technology already exists, I’m a bit confused now when I read old articles that say it will be difficult for Outernet to pull off two-way communication.

If the Inmarsat BGAN route doesn’t pan out, at the very least, we know basic satilitte texting works and exists in a relatively inexpensive device.

Maybe I don’t have the inside perspective of the Outernet team, but I don’t see the problem. Unless of course you will have to put different Sats up there to receive the text? Obviously, that would cost plenty.

Btw, sorry to drone on with all these suggestions and questions. But I have a better picture of how the two-way communication might work. Thanks. I think I’m good for awhile now.

Some of these people were referring to low latency usage closer to how web works.

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