Updated on September 26, 2023


Created on August 5, 2016

Outernet Lantern

Upcoming Update

The Outernet Lantern is no longer available.  The company has re-branded to Othernet

Developed By Unknown
Content Partners


Product Description

Outernet Lantern is a satellite receiver, solar-powered aimed at bringing digital content to emulate the Internet (but only one-way direction) to unconnected parts of the world. Outernet Lantern only can download information from the satellite recreating an “offline Internet” that is supposed to bring digital information to unconnected parts of the world to benefit education, health, disaster response, etc. The device then acts like a Wi-Fi router so that many devices can connect and share and download the information. Outernet Lantern operates without any internet connection since the information (digital content) is upload it to the satellites which then can be download it by receivers anywhere in the world free of charge. As mentioned, the service is only accessible in regions where the satellite’s signal can be received and where there is electrical power to enable any form of receivers. Outernet claims to have coverage over 99% of humans on Earth with 1 GB per day.

Outernet is a service that offers a one-way communication of digital content that would normally be found online. However, Outernet’s main business is the receivers (L-band hardware solutions). Outernet provides other hardware solution aside from Lantern (turn-key solution) and previously offered the modular Lighthouse (requires a dish and low noise block) and the Tuner for Raspberry Pi (requires a Raspberry Pi, dish and low noise block). At the moment they only offer DIY RECEIVER which is do-It-Yourself RTL-SDR radio hardware used in Outernet Lantern.

Outernet is based out of Chicago, Illinois, USA


Source: https://outernet.is/overview-2/

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

Outernet manufactures and distributes the hardware products though their online webpage. Outernet also manages the uploaded content to support their mission of improving information access in the unconnected parts of the world.

Manufacturing/Building Method

As of August 2016, Outernet is working on the manufacturing of the Lantern to reduce costs. Media content is shared with end-users from Outernet partners.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Users can buy Lantern directly on their website. Access to the information service can be done with specific satellite receivers.

Distributions to Date Status

Unknown. However, as of August 2016, Outernet has distributed a couple thousand receivers with expectations that the release of the Lantern will quickly surpass this. interview with representative

Design Specifications

Outernet uses popular single board computers, such as the CHIP by Next Thing Co and the Raspberry Pi 3. Both computers require about 2W of power for operations. The tuner and amplifier require another half-watt. The signal is a 5 kHz channel with an output level of 18 dBW from the spacecraft. [caption id="attachment_20453" align="alignnone" width="300"] Tuner for Raspberry Pi Source: http://store.outernet.is/products/outernet-tuner-for-raspberry-pi[/caption] [caption id="attachment_20452" align="alignnone" width="300"] Lighthouse Source: http://store.outernet.is/products/lighthouse-by-outernet-satellite-data-receiver[/caption] [caption id="attachment_20451" align="alignnone" width="300"] Lantern Source: http://technabob.com/blog/2014/11/19/lantern-satellite-receiver/[/caption]

Technical Support

Users can contact Outernet directly with any questions.

Replacement Components

Antennas, tuners, amplifiers and parts of the L-band hardware may have to be replaced over time through Outernet or other hardware providers.


Software/media: indefinite given an end user's digital storage ability Hardware: 2 - 10 years with a to be determined warranty given users wait for the final shelf-ready version of the Lantern. Any earlier iteration of the Lantern (pre-mass production) would not be covered by a warranty, rather only supported through Outernet forums. interview with representative

Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters


Vetted Performance Status

No official third party vetting, but Outernet has had many regular users confirm reception of ther data broadcast. interview with representative


Be sure to follow proper installation and control guidelines. Expert advisers suggest that "even though satellite technology is an innovative idea it depends strongly on the environmental conditions, so if it's cloudy or raining, then the service will be unavailable. Because of that, Outernet should not be consider for information services that might be critical, like emergency ads, and any real time communications requirements"

Complementary Technical Systems

Digital media viewing technology is required, such as a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Academic Research and References


Compliance with regulations


Comments from the Community


  1. E4C.COMMENTS says:

    wilfredo.torres says:

    Add specific performance parameters related to Quality of Service in the network for diferents applications (data-based, audio, video and multimedia): Average throughput | delay | jitter and packet loss. Also a parameter to know the “time to download” different kind of media.

    It is not clear how the final user device (smartphone, tablet, pc) is connected to the Outernet receiver (WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM, etc…)

    I think Network Capacity performance parameter is important. We need to know how many users can access concurrently the network through an Outernet receiver.

  2. E4C.COMMENTS says:

    Wilfredo Torres says:

    It’s a wonderfull idea to have a worldwide reachable service by satellite. Even that, satellite technology depends strongly on the environmental conditions, so if it’s cloudy or raining, then the service will be unavailable. Because of that, Outernet is not suitable for critical services, like emergency ads, and any real time communications requirements.

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