Daily Markup #751: Transcelestial’s sky-high ambition to bring superfast internet to every corner of the world, and even outer space

Credit: The Ken

Connectivity for the next billion

  •  You’re online, but have you ever thought about how many of our 8 billion world population are online too? Approximately 5 billion.
  • Connectivity is not evenly distributed across the world because of the current infrastructure of the internet. Undersea cables have been the way to go, but it is cost- and resource-intensive. Plus, last-mile connectivity is challenging in some places.
  • Co-founders Rohit Jha and Mohammad Danesh launched 500-backed superfast internet company Transcelestial to bring stable, fast internet connectivity to the next billion people.
  • Rohit grew up in Jamshedpur, the first planned industrial city in India. Because of where he came from, he shared, “You have a huge fascination and respect for entrepreneurship and the hardware business, like real tangible stuff and massive amounts of capability. And when you’re growing up in that part of the country, you’re also cut off from all the amazing stuff that big cities get—access to good transportation and infrastructure, the internet being part of that.”
  • Transcelestial was launched in 2016 to solve that very challenge. They are creating the technology needed to build the equivalent of an undersea cable, but in space.
  • “While the science of transmitting data through lasers inside fibre optics has been proven, the engineering to make it happen wirelessly is very difficult,” Rohit explained. Among many criteria, the connection has to cut through weather conditions, it has to be autonomous, and the device enabling it has to be manufactured affordably.
  • The result? “Our laser systems today can hit a glass of water in Singapore from somewhere like Hong Kong,” Rohit revealed.
  • The devices, called CENTAURIs, have already been deployed in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, and the United States. In the Philippines, partnerships have enabled wireless connectivity in both central and rural areas.
  • What’s next? To break the 10 Gbps ceiling and hit 25 Gbps and achieve interplanetary connectivity.
  • Read the full interview on The Ken. A subscription may be required.


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