Japanese Satellite to Provide Hyper-speed Wireless Internet Service

KIZUNA hyper-internet satelliteKIZUNA hyper-internet satellite
Japan's KIZUNA satellite, successfully launched from the Tanegashima Island Space Centre on a domestically developed, Mitsubishi H-2A rocket will introduce a new era of hyper-speed data communications across Asia. How fast is hyper-speed? Try 1.2 Gbps... the "G" stands for Giga (billion).

Mitsubishi H2A rocketMitsubishi H2A rocket
Let's put things in perspective here: 1.2 Gbps is 150 times faster than the average high-speed ADSL connection rate (around 8 Mbps). It's also 12 times faster than FTTP, or fibre-optic communication delivery. What this means is that students, researchers or company employees in different Asian cities will be able to communicate with each other without experiencing any time lag. Now THAT, is awesome... and so is the launch of KIZUNA, viewable here but previously watched live by millions in Japan over the Internet. Naturally.

According to JAXA, Japan's Space Agency, the type of societal breakthrough enabled by KIZUNA isn't the main reason why the experimental satellite was designed and launched - though it's still a darned good one. We're talking super-high speed wireless Internet communication in a country that experiences dozens of moderate to major earthquakes each year, every year.

Super Earthquake Power! Niigata, Japan, 1964Super Earthquake Power! Niigata, Japan, 1964
The bigger quakes cause widespread destruction to roads, gas & water mains, and - wait for it - wired communication services. With KIZUNA orbiting above, uninterrupted communication can be maintained when a ground-based network is disrupted by an earthquake or any other natural disaster. Not only in Japan, mind you, but in almost any Asian country - the service will be available at 19 different locations across Southeast Asia.

KIZUNA (which means "winds" in Japanese) was developed at a cost of $342 million and is expected to function for 5 years once it begins service this coming July.While it's up there, the satellite will be the test-bed for about 100 experiments. One of the most anticipated will be a test broadcast of the next generation of high-definition television.
Even disregarding its usefulness in the event of a disaster, the existence of low cost, super-high speed wireless Internet service throughout the length and breadth of Japan may inaugurate a new era of techno-culture in what is arguably the world's most technologically advanced nation. (via JAXA)

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer


Feb 24, 2008
by Robert Wheeldon (not verified)

No Lag Time - Not Really.

"What this means is that students, researchers or company employees in different Asian cities will be able to communicate with each other without experiencing any time lag."


As a matter of fact, the minimum lag time is twice the length of time for light to travel from one earth terminal to the satellite and back to the other earth terminal. Assuming the satellite is geosynchronous (like most communications satellites are), the time lag is at least 0.477 seconds. Yes, almost half a second!!

Not much of a problem for sending data files (assuming the communications protocol is reasonably well designed).

By the way, I believe in the world of spy satellites, communication of data at gigabit rates has been common place for several decades.

Feb 24, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

time lag

OK, any appreciable time lag. I don't have stats handy pertaining to land lines, but the lag in that case has got to be MUCH more than half a second. As for spy satellite technology, most of us don't have access to it. C'mon people, consider the possibilities here - and don't think that this breakthrough will be restricted to Japan and Asia. They just made it first (which seems to annoy some folks)... "Stop hyping it"? Ok... better, let's all bury our heads in the sand.

Feb 25, 2008
by Jo (not verified)


Kizuna doesn't mean "winds". "WINDS" = Wideband InterNetworking engineering test and Demonstration Satellite. The nickname of the satellite - Kizuna - means "bond" in Japanese.

Mar 26, 2008
by Anonymous

Turning Point in Human Evolution

The super high speed ominous internet connection marks a turning point in Human evolution, the "on" era, when people are connected to a world consciousness and transformed into super humans.

Jan 3, 2009
by Anonymous

Man i really wish that

Man i really wish that service providers will start to make internet cheaper and more efficient here in the United States. It's really amazing that they are able to make those technological breakthroughs. But we here in the united states need to re-implement the competition that japan has been and still is experiencing. If we are ever going to do something about this we need to get companies acrossed the united states to stop trying to go with the standard 1.5 or 7 or 8 megabit per second internet. We really need to start seeing qwest and comcast implementing some 40 or 50 or even 100 megabit per second fiber optics lines here acrossed the united states.
I know that most people would say that the reason for japans success is their tight confinement, so it is shorter cables and lines. But still unless we rekindle some competition back into the internet market in the united states we will quickly become less and less of a power in this world. Which will lead to worse products for us and just a worse lifestyle. I am really hoping that the government can help regulate stuff like that soon.