Strap a satellite to your ear

If you've never heard of SWANsat , then perhaps the expanded title will clear things up for you: Super-Wide Area Network System. The "sat" simply comes from the method of providing such a massively accessible network: satellite. The entire initiative is still a very remote one, but also a topic that has spawned some intense debate.

**SWANsat, or satellite-based Wi-Fi, really would make the world a small place after all

So, what does SWANsat offer, exactly?

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Phone services, anywhere

  • Remove "roaming" from your vocabulary permanently, as local, domestic, and international calls all come under one standard fee

Fax globally

  • Take those phone options and match them for faxing


  • Not only is the service essentially an expanded VoIP, but the service also offers unlimited multi-party conference features

Video conferencing

  • Although hardly a new (or popular) idea, if this option was to ever become beloved, it could be broadcast in full-motion at 30 frames per second

Quality video and audio

  • SWANsat supporters swear it could be DVD and CD quality, respectively

SUPER high speed internet

  • Reportedly more than one megabit per second (that's fast)

How does it work?

SWANsat utilizes a set of three spacecraft to serve the entire globe. Each one is accorded a rather massive land mass, and the result is expected to lead to seamless integration of telecommunications networks into what SWANsat supporters call a "Single OmniSystem".

What is Single OmniSystem?

At this point, SWANsat appears a little more ambitious than realistic. The official website employs some confusing terminology and general mumbo jumbo, including one line which refers to the OmniSystem as a network,

"capable of providing user-transparent, high-capacity, interactive, on-demand telecommunications services tailored to meet the needs of communication-intensive users. SWANsat will be that Omnisystem."

When the official SWANsat site also refers to its satellite network as one that "will add about 12 million high-speed carpool lanes to the Information Superhighway," it's easy to see why the technology has yet to reach the mainstream hype machine. Quite simply, no one really knows what the SWANsat folk are talking about.

**Caption: SWANsat promises to add millions of carpool lanes to the Info Superhighway

There is a relatively detailed plan for SWANsat's future, however. Readily available on the official website is a rather lucid listing of proposed advancements for the first ten versions of the program. For example, the first excitedly predicts SWANsat's place as the first and only service to provide high power two-way interactive broadcasting, while the tenth installment will allegedly reduce the cost as the technology grows and expands.

Conclusion: If WiMAX was a long ways off, then SWANsat is just now zig-zagging through Saturn's rings. At this point, a discussion of possible pricing is like predicting the winner of the 2014 World Series. Sure, the Yankees are a good guess, and SWANsat certainly isn't out of the question, either, but we certainly don't encourage anyone to hold their breath.