The seeming ubiquity and unlimited usefulness of the Internet has heralded the imminent end to many other forms of communication. Print media, such as newspapers and magazines, has been steadily declining in readership for years, and younger audiences are eschewing cable or satellite television in favor of online viewing options, like Netflix broadcast by Blu-Ray players or game consoles or new casting technology like Chromecast. Even some phone companies are taking a hit in contract holders, as the Internet hosts several sites that keep people in touch through written, audio, or video messages.
However, the Internet is far from omnipotent. In the early days of network technology, the Internet relied on phone lines for connections, and even today, access to Internet is costly and limited. In fact, more than half the world population — roughly 4.4 billion people — still lack even basic Internet connections. The telephone still reigns supreme as the best means to communicate across the globe, and the satellite phone is this communications technology’s unrivaled emperor.
Satellite phones have existed for several decades, and their unwavering ability to connect lost, injured, and lonely individuals with people they need has maintained their status as necessary tech for travelers. In contrast, the Internet is wholly unreliable for people frequently on-the-move — which is precisely why the Internet won’t be the most useful technology in the future, considering the speed and distance of imminent human travels.
Humans in Space
In 2013, 14 countries’ space agencies — including the United States, Canada, Japan, and others who supply astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) — met to discuss the future of space exploration. In forming the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG), these countries looked into the viability of various strategies for sending humans further into space than ever before.
The ISECG created a program dubbed The Global Exploration Roadmap, which is a long-term plan for human exploration and colonization of the solar system. First, humankind will revisit the Moon’s surface, constructing a small, habitable space station strategically around our friendly satellite. After a short trial run on the Moon, during which time the space agencies will be able to refine the technology and understand probable difficulties, astronauts will then make the trek to Mars. Transit from the Moon to Mars is more energy efficient — shuttles need not battle against Earth’s gravity and atmosphere to reach space — but flight time is a miserable seven months. Still, upon reaching the Red Planet, astronauts will build a small colony, which will serve as a home base for explorations in other stretches of the solar system, including asteroids and perhaps planets farther away. Meanwhile, the ISECG hopes the settlement on Mars develops into a bustling, other-worldly metropolis and the first step into true human settlements in extraterrestrial space.
Despite critics who cite grand plans for space projects that fell flat in the past due to nonexistent budgets, the ISECG is optimistic about its chances of getting the Global Exploration Roadmap up and running. With the cooperation of several affluent countries as well as contributions of funds and technology from the private sector, humans may be living on a different planet before the close of the century.
But what does all this have to do with the supremacy of satellite phones?
Space and Satellite Phones
Decades in the future, when astronauts do construct a human outpost on another planet, they will still need to communicate with terrestrial headquarters. In order to improve the quality and speed of these communications, space agencies will launch hundreds if not thousands of new satellites into space to facilitate the transmission of fundamental information to and from astronauts (and even regular colonists).
Detractors may point out that the public will certainly not be granted use of these satellites, which should be reserved for crucial astronaut-space agency communications only. Though this is true, it is also correct that the increased usage of satellite communications for such significant purposes will impact the public in positive ways.
Space is big business. The Global Exploration Roadmap will be mind-bogglingly expensive to carry out, as everything from the food the astronauts eat to the shuttles they ride in must be extensively researched, developed, and created. However, most space agencies around the world argue that all of this expense is far from a waste for the global population. Ultimately, the extensive scientific work done to produce all of these goods benefits the human community substantially in the form of improved technologies. Because satellite communication is such a vital element of space exploration, the public will be granted access to drastically enhanced satellite phone technology. Undoubtedly, satellite phone providers will see a rush on the perfected tech, and virtually everyone on Earth will have access to phenomenal satellite communications.
Your Future With Sat Phones
For now, the public can only wait and watch as global space agencies work toward the common goal of space exploration. Meanwhile, those interested in earthly explorations should strongly consider investing early in a satellite phone, or perhaps looking into satellite phone rental options to stay safe and secure during travel. Though not as vast as space, the world is wide and unpredictable, and travelers simply can’t trust the Internet to keep them in touch wherever they go.