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Our vision is to improve the connectivity experience for the next billion people

Interview to Rohit Jha,

Transcelestial CEO and Co-founder 

We have talked with Rohit Jha, Transcelestial CEO and Co-founder. He told us about his vision about its project, Transcelestial.

What’s your start up about?

Transcelestial is building the future of internet distribution, with the ultimate goal of building a space laser network to deliver a step-change in internet connectivity globally.
The existing ageing way of delivering connectivity is through – Fibre optic cables (~60 years old) and RF waves (~100+ years old). Innovation in these areas has not moved ahead comparably enough to push radical reduction of cost per bit i.e. people have to pay enormous amounts of money in most parts of the world to still get basic access to the internet.
Wireless laser communication technology is very new and requires a complete mindset change for fast-paced, innovative companies looking to deliver the next generation of internet capabilities. It’s not enough to just deliver HTML web pages anymore – today’s internet demands high-quality video, low latency game servers, highly responsive business videos, and more. Often we have seen that people who are trying just to make profits from a crumbling old infrastructure fail to deliver on these promises and stick to fiber-based or radio frequency-based technologies.

How did you come up with your start up idea?

Our vision is to improve the connectivity experience for the next billion people. To build on this we have developed a high-speed (up to 10Gbps) wireless laser communication device. The device we’ve developed, CENTAURI, transmits the lasers through the air instead of using lasers through fibre optic cables. This allows for rapid deployment as compared to deploying fibre underground.
While the concept of using lasers to power connectivity is not new, there has been a major gap in getting it to market. Our technology and IP make it possible for industry players everywhere to utilise next-generation lasers that are best in class when compared on a price to performance basis. With Transcelestial today, multiple industry applications are possible including but not limited to telecom, ISPs, large campus environments, ports and maritime.

How do you see you start up 5 years from now? What would be the ideal future for your start up?

Transcelestial is built on the principle that Connectivity is a Human Right. This can be properly addressed only by solving civilisation’s long-term communication needs.

The world exists in three buckets:
1. No Internet (estimate is <1-5% of the world)
2. Really bad connectivity experience:  low internet speeds, high latency to cloud or high cost/bit
3. Really awesome connectivity experience

The biggest bulk of the world exists in the second bucket. Contrary to popular belief, we believe not many people are truly unconnected i.e. off-the-reserve.

So the challenge is how do we raise the floor everywhere quickly? The economic benefits of such an outcome are tremendous.

How does having 6 of the biggest Telcos supporting you would benefit your start up?

No discussion on communication would also be complete without acknowledging 5G and its rapid deployment. Transcelestial technology has helped operators build their communications infrastructure to roll out 5G services and with our eyes on space, there’s the potential for so much more.
This is especially relevant considering it is no longer sustainable to rely on physical cables for online connectivity. Higher Internet demand of up to 70% in some countries, especially during COVID-19, has brought global telecom infrastructure closer to a tipping point. Bringing our wireless laser communication technology to the world brings us one step closer to help bridge the connectivity divide to weeks as opposed to months or years with fiber optic cables.

Agustín Moro, Global Director Partnerships Telefonica Open Innovation

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