Kepler Communications, a Toronto-based nanosatellite startup, is breaking records and creating history through what it calls a high-tech array of towers in space that can pick up signals from Earth in almost record time.
The company is one of only a handful of Canadian startups operating in the fast-growing space industry, which is expected to become a multi-billion-dollar marketplace by 2022.
Using small satellites the size of a “loaf of bread,” the startup’s technology improves connectivity for isolated areas across the globe. Connectivity issues is an oft-ignored problem that threatens economic development in rural regions, especially in Canada’s northern territories that suffer from choppy, lagging internet service and poor mobile access that impacts everything from business to healthcare.
In the end, Kepler’s breakthrough work is expected to have far-reaching effects, because better connectivity not only helps underserved residents stay informed but also a boon to employment and digital innovation.
Unlike some of its competitors, the startup’s innovative satellites have lower latency (the amount of time it takes for data to travel from one point to another) since it operates in close orbit. Its products can cover large areas and relatively cheaper than other conventional methods, such as fibre-optic installations that can take years to install and require constant maintenance.
Since launching, the team has managed to expand internationally by launching satellites on American and Russian rockets. Recently it inked a deal with China Great Wall Industry Corporation, making it the first Canadian to send satellites into space from far-east country and opens up more opportunities for it to expand into the country’s thriving marketplace.