Satellite Broadband : How bad is the latency?

Discussion in 'ISPs & The Internet' started by Marmar, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Marmar

    Marmar
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    Anyone out there with experience of satellite broadband particularly on the new packages offering 10mb download speeds.

    I know the latency is a no no for gaming and probably not an issue for streaming but what about instant messaging services, VOIP/IP conferencing etc. Anyone tried using these for something like Skype?
     
  2. Azafran

    Azafran
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    Hi
    We have wireless broadband in Spain, and I mean wireless via satellite, not just straight forward wireless.

    The speed we have is low, 1MB. Even so we use Skype on a daily basis and it provides a clear transmission. We even have a webcam for video, but in fairness this becomes slow and significantly reduces audio clarity. For the majority of Skype calls we disable the webcam.

    With 10MB I'm sure that you will easily be able to use video conferencing if you wish.

    Going back 12 months we only had a 250kb broadband connection and managed to use Skype with that as well!!! The 1MB upgrade did however produce a noticeable improvement.
     
  3. Marmar

    Marmar
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    Thanks Azafran

    That is a great help.

    We are a long way from the exchange and have a slow connection and I may be working a lot more from home.

    What concerned me was the delay more than the throughput because as you say 10mb is plenty. The fact that you are able to use Skype comfortably without having to pause a great deal when talking is good to know.

    The delay is because the signal has to travel so far, to and from the satellite. It's probably a bit like when you used to see people doing interviews over satellite on TV.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
  4. LJx

    LJx
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    I don't think you would get more than 1 second latency at most with satellite maybe even half a second so calls should be bearable
     
  5. Marmar

    Marmar
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    They quote 600-800ms with the new Ka band sats, hard to judge what that means in practical terms but as you say should be ok for VIOP/Chat.

    Thanks guys
     
  6. Azafran

    Azafran
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    Using my paltry 1MB satellite broadband connection I pinged www.google.com to check latency. It was 120 milliseconds fastest, 166 milliseconds slowest, 148 milliseconds average. Hope this helps.
     
  7. Marmar

    Marmar
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    Thanks Azafran

    That sounds quicker than I would expect for satellite, at least one in geostationary orbit which is 22 miles up. Perhaps your service uses another satellite constellation in low earth orbit, had a look on Wikipedia and it does make a big difference apparently.

    Cheers
     
  8. EndlessWaves

    EndlessWaves
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    geostationary orbit is 22,000 miles up not 22 miles. The absolute minimum ping you can have is 250ms (1/4 second) as that's the speed of light. Do you know where the satellite's base station is located? Obviously one in the UK is going to give you much better pings that one further away.

    I can't speak for satellite but on pings 300ms is going to be occasionally noticeable for chatting but not to bothersome. As you get closer to 1000ms of delay though it will become obvious, more so in skype than in text chat as chat has the typing delay anyway.
     
  9. Marmar

    Marmar
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    Sorry meant 22k

    I believe they can now do some clever giggery pokery with the way the send the data packets which improves the “perceived “ latency but you obviously can't beat the speed of light, unless your a neutrino that is :)

    Thanks EndlessWaves.
     
  10. Azafran

    Azafran
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    I get a bit miffed when people tell me that I can't do something that I just did. However, in this case they may be correct.

    We have a square box on the roof that was installed by Iberbander. It points towards a mast about 10km away, not towards the sky. I've always assumed it was satellite but perhaps it is just simple wireless after all. Happy New Year to all anyway.
     
  11. Marmar

    Marmar
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    Makes Sense.

    Happy New Year.
     
  12. Chris Muriel

    Chris Muriel
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    I juts checked Iberbander.com; they use WiMax , which is a terrestrial technology (not satellite), hence the lower ping times.
     

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