During an average workday, a single minute might seem negligible.
If you’re lucky, a minute might buy you enough time to write a quick email, grab a coffee from the break room, or make small talk with a coworker.
But in other situations, a minute can also be quite extraordinary. Imagine being a quarterback in the Superbowl in overtime, or finding yourself in a life-and-death situation in which every second counts towards the outcome.
Visualizing an Internet Minute
When it comes to gauging the epic scale of the internet, it would seem that each minute leans closer to the extraordinary side of the spectrum.
How is it possible that 188 millions of emails are sent every minute? How does Google process 3.8 million search queries in such a short span of time?
Simply put, the number of actions packed into just 60 seconds is extraordinary.
A Side-by-Side Comparison
The internet is incredibly dynamic, which means there are always new and interesting segments that are emerging out of the internet’s ether.
To get a sense of this, take a look at the comparison of last year’s version of this graphic with the more recent entry:
Platforms such as Instagram and Netflix continue to grow at a blistering pace, while new categories such as smart speakers are quickly building a strong foundation for the future.
Last year, for example, only 67 voice-first devices were being shipped per minute – and in 2019, there are now 180 smart speakers being shipped in the same window of time.
What will this look like in 2020?
Going Sideways or Backwards
Interestingly, even as more and more people gain access to the internet around the world each year, there are still parts of the web that are plateauing or even shrinking in size.
You’ll see that Facebook logins and Google searches both increased only incrementally from last year. Further, the amount of emails getting sent is also quite stagnant, likely thanks to to the rise of workplace collaboration tools such as Slack.
Snap is another story altogether. In the last year, the app saw a decrease in millions of users due to the infamous redesign that helped torpedo the app’s rising popularity.
Regardless, we’re certain that by this time next year, an internet minute will have changed significantly yet again!
Which Companies Own the Most Satellites?
Despite Starlink’s dominance in the industry, the company is set to face intense competition in the coming years.
Which Companies Own the Most Satellites?
Nearly 7,000 satellites orbit the Earth, serving vital functions such as communication, navigation, and scientific research.
In 2022 alone, more than 150 launches took place, sending new instruments into space, with many more expected over the next decade.
But who owns these objects? In this graphic, we utilize data from the Union of Concerned Scientists to highlight the leaders in satellite technology.
SpaceX’s Dominance in Space
SpaceX, led by Elon Musk, is unquestionably the industry leader, currently operating the largest fleet of satellites in orbit—about 50% of the global total.
The company has already completed 62 missions this year, surpassing any other company or nation, and operates thousands of internet-beaming Starlink spacecraft that provide global internet connectivity.
Starlink customers receive a small satellite dish that self-orients itself to align with Starlink’s low-Earth-orbit satellites.
|Planet Labs, Inc.||195||3%||USA|
|Spire Global Inc.||127||2%||USA|
|Iridium Communications, Inc.||75||1%||USA|
Percentages may not add to 100 due to rounding.
In second place is a lesser-known company, British OneWeb Satellites. The company, headquartered in London, counts the UK government among its investors and provides high-speed internet services to governments, businesses, and communities.
Like many other satellite operators, OneWeb relies on SpaceX to launch its satellites.
Despite Starlink’s dominance in the industry, the company is set to face intense competition in the coming years. Amazon’s Project Kuiper plans to deploy 3,236 satellites by 2029 to compete with SpaceX’s network. The first of the fleet could launch as early as 2024.
The Rise of China’s Space Program
After the top private companies, governments also own a significant portion of satellites orbiting the Earth. The U.S. remains the leader in total satellites, when adding those owned by both companies and government agencies together.
American expenditures on space programs reached $62 billion in 2022, five times more than the second one, China.
China, however, has sped up its space program over the last 20 years and currently has the highest number of satellites in orbit belonging directly to government agencies. Most of these are used for Earth observation, communications, defense, and technology development.
Satellite Demand to Rise Over the Decade
Despite the internet being taken for granted in major metropolitan areas and developed countries, one out of every three people worldwide has never used the web.
Furthermore, the increasing demand for data and the emergence of new, more cost-effective satellite technologies are expected to present significant opportunities for private space companies.
In this context, satellite demand is projected to quadruple over the next decade.
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