Published in Mobiles

Hubble Network wants to build global Bluetooth satellite network

by on01 June 2023

Will connect to any Bluetooth low energy (BLE) chips

Hubble Network plans to launch a constellation of 300 satellites to create a global satellite network that any Bluetooth-enabled device can connect to, anywhere in the world.

The network aims to provide real-time updates for devices equipped with Bluetooth low energy (BLE) chips, offering connectivity to over a billion devices. 

Hubble Network CEO Alex Haro says the company has engineered "technical tricks" to make this scale of connectivity possible for the first time, like lowering the bitrate, or the amount of data transferred per second.

Hubble rethought the design of the satellite antenna. Instead of sticking a single antenna on the side of a satellite bus, the company is using hundreds of antennae per satellite. This means that each satellite can support millions of connected devices. The result is a radio signal that can be detected around 1,000 kilometers away -- or almost 10 orders of magnitude longer than what can be detected from a Bluetooth chip over terrestrial networks.

Hubble Network plans to launch an initial batch of four satellites on SpaceX's Transporter-10 rideshare mission in January 2024, and onboard early pilot customers afterwards.

After launching four satellites next January, Hubble plans to build out its constellation to 68 satellites total over the next two-and-a-half years. While the first four satellites will provide global coverage on their own, Haro said that it will be about a six-hour gap until devices can update on the ground. Increasing the constellation to 68 birds means that a satellite will be overhead every 15 minutes or so -- an update rate that is sufficient for "the vast majority" of customer use cases, Haro said.

While Hubble is clearly targeting existing Bluetooth devices -- of which billions exist all over the world already -- Haro is confident that the company's network will interest developers to build applications that don't even exist yet.


Last modified on 01 June 2023
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