From connecting people across different cities to each other through wireless communication to providing people in remote areas with the Internet, technology unquestionably has come a long way. Among the many geniuses that are changing the world, Elon Musk is probably the most renowned. One of his many genius ventures is Starlink Satellite Internet Service, which was started back in 2015 under his company SpaceX. It offers satellite-based internet service and is currently running beta testing.
How does Starlink Work?
In remote areas where it is tough to find a signal, we cannot rely on the usual wireless fidelity service. Starlink has more than 100 satellites surrounding the globe, enabling it to bounce off wireless signals without any user interference.
This also saves the cost of laying infrastructure, such as digging up fibre lines or dealing with property disbursement disputes.
Each satellite will be synced to four other surrounding satellites, which then create a beam together. Additionally, it is closer to the earth than other satellites hence offering low latency (18ms). This enables the data to be projected almost as fast as the speed of light. With its last rundown in early 2021, Starlink now has more than 800 satellites in outer space and plans to create a mega constellation of up to 40,000 satellites for seamless connectivity.
For urban areas, Starlink won’t be a great option. Each geographical location has a limited satellite internet capacity because all internet traffic must pass through satellites nearest to that specific area.
Each falcon type rocket can contain up to 60 satellites to be delivered into outer space. This equipment weighs around 500 pounds, surrounded by spherical antenna radomes to protect it from harm.
How much will it cost?
Starlink price: $99/mo.
Equipment cost: $499 – includes the phased array antenna and router.
The Starlink portal proclaims an antenna and router infrastructure expense of $499 and a monthly package of $99.17. Unfortunately, that’s more than the initial approximated price of $80 a month, but it’s still better than some of the higher-end plans from Viasat and HughesNet.
In contrast, for connection speeds of 12 Mbps to 100 Mbps, a Viasat satellite internet plan varied from $30 to $150 a month, and HughesNet plans ranged from around $60 to $150 a month for download speeds of 25 Mbps. Potential customers have high hopes and are ready to invest, albeit with the slightly up top pricing.
SpaceX also has developed its official mobile app for both Android and ios platforms.
How fast is Starlink?
Speeds offered by Starlink are way ahead of the competition, which maxes out at just 25mbps for HughesNet and 100mbps for Viasat.
In its beta testing run, the average download speed of 116mbps and an upload speed of 16mbps was observed.
Your signal has to migrate 22,200 miles to strike the satellite with the conventional satellite internet, then back immediately to the website server, to the satellite, and then finally back to you. This can take a while, so the latency of the satellite internet is usually between 500 and 600 ms.
Starlink antennas are only 342 miles above the substrate of the earth. That’s much closer than most satellites, which means there’s a much smaller distance to fly to a Starlink satellite for your internet signal.
Thus, the latency offered is also significantly lower (39ms) than the competition (400-500ms).
Although sorting out the glitches in its beta phase, Starlink is still in the process of testing satellites and ground stations. Starlink users will probably see increased data rates and lower latency as more satellites enter earth’s orbit and more ground stations are installed.
How you can register, and when will it become available?
- Go to Starlink’s Website.
- Select your email and region to view whether or not you are eligible.
- Check out when services will be provided at your location.
- Pay the $99 testing fee.
With the users’ positive and enthusiastic response in the first half of the pre-orders, Starlink has opened its gates again. Currently, orders are being fulfilled on a first-come, first-serve basis in selected coverage areas only.
It is available to customers who live between 45 to 53-degree longitude.
Keep checking Starlink official website for regular updates.
“We are focusing on providing services in parts of the US and Canada in the beginning and slowly expanding further onto the other parts of the world“, says Musk.
SpaceX looks forward to meeting its claims and improving services dramatically as they launch more satellites. Currently, the launch date of Starlink is delayed due to the pandemic, but we recommended you to sign up for the beta and get a chance to taste this wicked technology.
Uses may also experience service outages every once in a while; as the number of satellites increases, this frequency will decrease.
As per statistical data:
- 54% of Americans stated that they would sign up for the beta program when available for their location.
- Less than 6% of the total population has got their hands on this technology; hence, curiosity is reasonable.
- One in every two non-satellite users said they would switch to satellite internet despite the slightly higher costs.
Some of the reviews we have come across:
- Superb scheme/service. Finally, I can use the Internet as an average person.
- I’m on beta – thanks a lot. It’s been 11 years waiting for a connection that is better than 900kbps 🙂 thank you
- Elon Musk is the modern-day embodiment of Tony Stark.