If you have called using the telephone today, perhaps watch TV or listen to the radio too, then you’re actually using satellite communication, which is one form of wireless communication. The other wireless means of communication include infrared, mobile, Bluetooth, and wireless networks.
Moving about without having to be hassled by wires, wireless mediums are usually the preference nowadays. Both wireless networks and satellite communication are the most common forms of wireless communication used today.
The main difference between the two is their location. Wireless networks use cellular towers, and thus, land-based. Satellite, by its name, doesn’t use towers on land to get signals but from satellites that orbit the earth. Learn more about the two.
Cellular Communication Through Wireless Networks
Wireless networks rival wired networks. The latter may have been believed to be more secure and faster than wireless networks, but because of the revolutionary enhancements, wireless networks fare very well in the microwave data communications realm too.
Wireless networks operate using cell towers through cell phones or other cellular carriers. The nearest cell tower allows you to send and receive voices by converting the sounds to signal, signal to radio waves, and again, radio waves to sound.
Businesses, homes, and most telecommunication networks gravitate to wireless networks or Wi-Fi given its many benefits. One doesn’t have to be tied to their chair to go online, finish tasks, or connect with people from around the world. There’s no need for string cables; hence, reducing the user’s wiring or installation expenses.
Since communication through wireless networks uses cellular towers, overall, it’s called cellular communication; thus, the term cellular phones. People rely on their proximity to cellular towers to get signals to communicate.
However, it also comes with its downsides. Being near a cell tower doesn’t guarantee you a better signal. Various culprits can block your phone for signal reception. Bad cell phone signals can happen at any time.
More than half of America’s population suffer from having low download speeds, admitting that they hang up in the middle of calls due to weak signals. There are various factors that affect signal reception.
Heavy cellular traffic happens when everyone’s using their phones. When you call or stream, your phone connects to the cell tower nearby. Cell towers can get full on certain rush hours, which results in dropped calls.
Most building materials in America are also culprits to blocking the signal, most especially low E-glasses and metals. Notice how your phone’s reception gets weak when you enter malls or your home that has these or other signal-obstructing materials.
Trees, geographic location, and weather are also factors. When your home is surrounded by large trees, you live on hills and valleys with the tower on the other side, and the weather is bad, you’re certainly getting a lag when you try to contact people.
Lastly, you may just be far from the cell tower itself or have a low battery power, which is actually what gives your phone the energy to continually connect with a cell tower. Your phone will definitely struggle to catch signals with a low battery.
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Where cellular towers cannot reach, satellite communications can. There are still so many remote parts in the world that any other medium cannot reach except satellites. The first satellite launched was Sputnik 1 in 1957, an artificial type.
As of September 2021, the number of satellites launched into space went up to 7,941 and there’s no sign of decline—the US being on the lead in terms of having the most satellites.
Satellite communications are used in telephone, television, internet, radio, and even the military. As per Geospatial World, there are already 1,832 satellites launched into the earth’s orbit for communication purposes.
These satellites are launched with names such as MSAT G2 PTT, CMS-01, and many other GSATs. They have the ability to receive signals from the earth and transmit them back using transponders.
Since satellite communication doesn’t depend on towers, it can easily reach remote locations by transmitting the signal from your device to the closest satellite. The satellite then sends the signal to the land-based center, then to your satellite phone, landline, or cell phone.
This is what makes satellite communication very crucial in any remote place, for example in an extremely isolated wilderness or in the middle of the ocean, where building cellular towers is totally impossible.
Satellite and Cellular Communications Both Serve Their Unique Purpose
In a nationwide emergency, satellite communications are the go-to solution, but usually, day to day, we use wireless networks. Both serve their unique purpose, which is why it’d be better to have both to use for various reasons and situations.
Meta title: Satellite vs. Cellular: Which is Better for Communication?
meta desc: There are various forms of communication that are widely used today. Satellite communication and wireless networks or cellular communication are the most commonly used nowadays. Read on to learn more about them.