New satellite a fillip for regional broadband

Broadband users in the rural areas of Australia have been given a big speed boost with the launch of a satellite service that offers speeds of 4Mbps.

The service provider and wholesaler, IPSTAR Australia Pty Ltd, is a subsidiary of Thailand's Shin Satellite and has already signed up six ISPs to deliver the service.

The satellite, also called IPSTAR, was launched into orbit in August. Its footprint covers a chunk of Asia from India, east through to Japan and down to Australia and New Zealand.

Australia, with 14.7 per cent sits behind China on 26.2 per cent in the satellite's total coverage area.

IPSTAR Australia satellite consultant Bob Hinrichs, who formerly worked with Telstra in its satellite Internet team, said the IPSTAR would work best in access challenged areas.

Technically, IPSTAR provides10 spot beams across Australia plus one large shape beam, meaning the whole continent gets coverage. Other satellites, he said, only provided one big beam and were not as thorough.

Hinrichs said this changed satellite in Australia from being considered a quasi narrowband service to one that could match the speed and capacity of terrestrial broadband offerings.

"IPSTAR allows customers to exploit broadband," he said.

IPSTAR is offering a maximum speed of 4Mbps per terminal, with uploads at 1Mbps. However, in reality, local ISPs may offer a range of packages, such as 256Kbps, 512 Kbps or 1Mbps.

Speeds would depend on what the ISP wanted to offer according to its demand forecast, Hinrichs said.

In comparison, BigPond's 1-Way satellite plan peaks at 512Kbps, and its 2-Way plan at 800Kbps. Optus's 1 and 2-Way services have speeds of 1000Kbps/256Kbps

To receive the service end users need a satellite dish about 85cm in diameter. This connects to a satellite modem in the users PC or notebook.

With the Federal Government's Higher Bandwidth Incentive Scheme (HiBIS), Hinrichs said the service would have further appeal to both ISPs and consumers in regional areas.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?