Day 1418 – High-Speed Global Connectivity – Ask Gramps
Welcome to Day 1418 of our Wisdom-Trek, and thank you for joining me.
This is Guthrie Chamberlain, Your Guide to Wisdom
High-Speed Global Connectivity – Ask Gramps
Wisdom - the final frontier to true knowledge. Welcome to Wisdom-Trek! Where our mission is to create a legacy of wisdom, to seek out discernment and insights, to boldly grow where few have chosen to grow before. Hello, my friend, I am Guthrie Chamberlain, your captain on our journey to increase Wisdom and Create a Living Legacy. Thank you for joining us today as we explore wisdom on our 2nd millennium of podcasts. Today is Day 1418 of our Trek, and after many months, we are changing our focus on Fridays to become Futuristic Fridays. My personality is one that has always been very future-oriented. Since my childhood, I have yearned for the exploration and discovery of new technologies and advancements for the future. I grew up with the original Star Trek series, and even today, while I am on my 64th revolution around the sun, I still dream of traveling in space. Each week we will explore rapidly converging technologies and advancements that will radically change our perspective of life. The topics may sound like something out of a science fiction novel, but each area that we explore is already well on its way of becoming a reality in the next couple of decades. To keep with our theme of “Ask Gramps,” I will put our weekly topics in the form of a question to get us on track. So this week’s question is: Hey Gramps, is there one technology that is driving the rapid changes in the world, which will be the catalyst for all other changes?
High-Speed Global Connectivity
With the global pandemic still impacting the world, and when unrest seems to be nearly everywhere, you have to realize that none of these issues will be long-lasting in the grand scheme of the world. Many of these issues will speed up the exponential technology that is changing our world today. I am using some of the information mentioned in Peter Diamandis’s book, which I mentioned in previous episodes, “The Future is Faster Than You Think.”
Global gigabit connectivity will connect everyone and everything, everywhere, at ultra-low-cost: The deployment of both licensed and unlicensed 5G, plus the launch of a multitude of global satellite networks (OneWeb, Starlink, etc.), allow for ubiquitous, low-cost communications for everyone, everywhere–– not to mention the connection of trillions of devices. Today’s skyrocketing connectivity is bringing online an additional 3 billion individuals, driving tens of trillions of dollars into the global economy. Global gigabit technology is driven by the convergence of: low-cost space launches, hardware advancements, 5G networks, artificial intelligence, materials science, and surging computing power. We’re about to connect 8 billion people on the planet, everywhere, all the time, at near-zero cost. This is a future of gigabit connection speeds at the top of Mt. Everest or in the Gobi desert. Currently, the fastest standard wired internet for most homes is 1-GB speed, which will soon jump to 10-GB over the next few years. 10-GB is the broadband technology platform of the future that will deliver residential internet speeds of 10 gigabits per second – 10 times faster than today’s networks. With the power and capacity to change the way we live, learn, work and play, the 10-GB platform will enable creators and innovators to fulfill their dreams while providing the reliability and security that consumers can trust. Imagine downloading a feature-length movie in less time than it takes to read this sentence.
In the decade ahead, the convergence of 5G, satellite constellations, and stratospheric balloons will take us into warp drive, birthing a new age of hyperconnectivity. This technology is under deployment today, and what will be possible tomorrow.
When researchers talk about network evolution such as 4G or 5G, “G” is the term stands for “generation.” In 1940, when the first telephone networks began to roll out, they were at 0G. These initial periods when technology is just starting, it is referred to as ‘the dark night of deception.’ It took forty years to crawl our way to 1G, which showed up with the first mobile phones in the 1980s. But this also marked the transition from deceptive to disruptive.
By the 90s—around the time the internet emerged—2G came along for the ride. But the journey didn’t last long. A decade later, 3G ushered in a new era of acceleration as bandwidth costs began to plummet at a staggeringly consistent 35 percent per year. 2010 saw 4G networks unleash smartphones, mobile banking, and e-commerce.
Starting in 2020, 5G will hotwire the whole deal, delivering speeds a hundred times faster at near-zero prices. How fast is 5G fast? With 3G, it takes 45 minutes to download a high-definition movie. 4G shrinks that to 21 seconds. But 5G? It takes longer to read this sentence than it takes to download that movie. What are some of the technology that allows this acceleration? One is a type of balloon. Even while our terrestrial mobile networks receive a massive upgrade, new networks are sprouting, taking advantage of the vast real estate above our heads.
Alphabet, which is part of Google, is now rolling out Project Loon, which, when first proposed, could have been short for “Project Loony!” Born a decade back out of Google X—the tech giant’s skunkworks—the idea was to replace terrestrial cell towers with stratospherically located hot air balloons. That idea is now a reality.
Both light and durable enough to cruise the slipstreams some 20 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, Google’s 15x12-meter balloons are providing 4G-LTE connections to users on the ground.
Each balloon covers 5,000 square kilometers, and Google aims for a network of thousands, wiring the unwired, providing continuous coverage for anyone, anywhere on Earth.
The next type of network device is built into satellites. While balloons take advantage of room in the atmosphere, other companies are developing networks that inhabit space outside our planet.
Beyond the stratosphere, three major competitors are engaged in an entirely new kind of space race. First up is the work of an engineer named Greg Wyler, who has long pursued the use of technology to eradicate poverty. Back in the early 2000s, on a shoestring budget, Wyler helped bring 3G to communities in Africa.
Today, backed with billions from SoftBank, Qualcomm, and Virgin, he’s launching OneWeb: a constellation of about two thousand satellites bringing 5G download speeds to everyone.
Yet despite the radical network upgrade of OneWeb, Wyler’s a David compared to goliaths such as Amazon and SpaceX. Early this year, Amazon joined the satellite competition, announcing the e-commerce giant’s intention to deploy “Project Kuiper,” a constellation of 3,236 satellites aimed at providing high-speed broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world.
SpaceX topped these figures in 2019, as Musk’s rocket company began launching a monster constellation of now over 30,000 satellites called Starlink. If Musk succeeds, it’ll mean global gigabit connection speeds at near-zero costs. Sixty-six of those satellites are already in orbit, and another 1,000+ are scheduled to launch in 2020.
There are plans for even higher orbiting satellites. At 8,000 kilometers—in what’s technically called Medium-Earth orbit—O3B is the latest G on the block. O3B stands for “Other 3 Billion” and is a set of Boeing-built ‘multi-terabit’ satellites known as the ‘mPower network,’ targeted at bringing connectivity to all who currently lack it.
We are rushing into the Era of Hyperconnectivity. Now bursting into a tremendously competitive marketplace, today’s building blocks of connectivity are wiring the planet and transforming 21st-century livelihood.
In less than a few decades, we will have built an ever-expanding nervous system, webbing together human civilization and facilitating the rapid-fire global exchange of ideas, goods, services, and human capital.
In next week’s Futuristic Friday episode, we will explore the implications of these exchanges and how hyper-connectivity will unlock our vastly underutilized store of human capital. Perhaps the most significant enabler of all, hyper-connectivity is birthing an era of innovation and progress unlike anything humanity has seen before.
Recognizing that God is the provider of all wisdom, it is so exciting to see how He is utilizing humankind to connect the world so that everyone has ready access to His Good News of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us all authority in heaven and on earth as we are told in Matthew 28:18-20
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
That is a wrap for today’s question. Join us again next Friday for another question on our ‘Ask Gramps’ episode. Our next trek is Meditation Monday, where we will help you reflect on what is most important in life. So encourage your friends and family to join us and then come along on Monday for another day of ‘Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.’ If you would like to listen to any of the past 1417 daily treks or read the associated journals, they are all available at Wisdom-Trek.com. I encourage you to subscribe to Wisdom-Trek on your favorite podcast player so that each day will be downloaded to you automatically.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and, most of all, your friend as I serve you in through this Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal.
As we take this Trek of life together, let us always:
Live Abundantly (Fully)
Lend to others Generously
Lead with Integrity
Leave a Living Legacy Each Day
I am Guthrie Chamberlain….reminding you to ’Keep Moving Forward,’ ‘Enjoy your Journey,’ and ‘Create a Great Day…Everyday’! See you on Monday!