SpaceX created Starlink, a satellite internet firm, as a revenue-generating enterprise to help support the company's aspirations to populate Mars. The Starlink satellites are in low-Earth orbit, which is significantly closer to the Earth than most satellite providers. As a result, Starlink may be able to provide lower latency than typical satellite service.
Starlink has launched 1,677 satellites in low-Earth orbit and has over 10,000 active clients as of May 17, 2021. That appears to be a significant figure. Starlink has long been the most extensive satellite network in the world. However, this does not imply that Starlink is ready to provide full-fledged satellite internet service. Starlink would require up to 42,000 satellites in its constellation, indicating that it still has a long way to go. So far, only 12,000 Starlink satellites have been certified by the Federal Communications Commission and the International Telecommunication Union. Beta testers have experienced intermittent disruptions due to Starlink's satellite constellation not being fully filled out.
Starlink has secretly demonstrated Its beta test results, which can offer a high-speed satellite internet connection of 100 Mbps or higher with a low latency of 20 milliseconds. Customers may expect speed fluctuations of 50 to 150 Mbps during the beta testing phase, according to Starlink.
Signing up to Starlink during the beta testing is currently $99 per month, plus a $499 equipment fee.
So yet, there's no indication on how much Starlink will cost once it's fully functional. The $499 equipment price comprises the Starlink dish receiver (dubbed "a UFO on a stick" by Elon Musk), a mounting tripod, and a Starlink modem.
How will Starlink work?
Images of the Starlink satellite constellation resemble a fishing net, with hundreds of dots representing satellites rotating in coordinated orbits to provide satellite coverage to all parts of the world. Although the Starlink satellite network will initially cover the whole world, certain portions of the constellation will be more completely equipped. Satellites will ultimately communicate with one another via lasers, which will minimize lag time and allow for a faster, lower-latency connection.
The orbit of Starlink satellites is significantly lower than that of other satellites. Starlink is the first satellite internet service provider to use low Earth orbit, with all of its satellites orbiting between 540 and 1,150 kilometers above the Earth's surface. Limited satellites can transfer data faster and with minor delay (or lag time).
How much will Starlink cost?
Starlink internet costs $99 per month amid the current public beta. After the beta, there are no specifics on how much Starlink will cost. The equipment expense, though, is the biggest sticker shock for would-be Starlink testers. A Starlink satellite dish, modem, and other needed hardware will set you back $499 upfront. Isn't it painful? What will happen if/when this equipment is redesigned (will eBay be flooded with antique Starlink satellite dishes?) we can't help but wonder.
Even though Starlink might assist low-income, underserved, and rural areas of the world the most, the cost is a significant disincentive for those who need it the most.
0 percent of the world's population lives in severe poverty, defined by the United Nations as a daily income of less than $1.90 per person. Because of the exorbitant cost of equipment, Starlink is out of reach for millions of people worldwide who could benefit from the internet connection.
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Starlink, to be fair, is aware of the hefty equipment costs. “Lowering terminal equipment cost,” Elon Musk tweeted on November 2, 2020. . . We hope he finds a solution to this problem, which is our most challenging technological challenge.”
· Only 30% of people have heard of Starlink, although 61% have heard of SpaceX.
· According to 45 percent of respondents, Starlink will only be available to those who live in off-grid regions. (It will be accessible in all 50 states.)
· Only 23% indicated switching from their current ISP to Starlink, while 77% said they would not.
· Starlink will not be cheaper than current satellite internet choices, according to 45 percent of respondents.
· Starlink will not be any safer than other forms of the internet, according to 54% of respondents.
· Furthermore, almost 70% of those polled underestimated Musk's net worth. Nearly a third of those polled estimated Musk's net worth was as low as $3 billion, instead of almost $37 billion he has (and counting).
How is Starlink unique?
Starlink's low-orbit satellites are a tenth of the cost of traditional satellite launches, thanks to automatic guided rockets, making large-scale satellite launches easier and more economical. Starlink set a new milestone for rocket reusability in May 2021, when its eleventh batch of Starlink satellites was successfully launched by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The use of reusable rockets reduces the cost of launching satellites by orders of magnitude now.
Starlink has struck a solid stride in the last year, manufacturing and deploying approximately 120 satellites every month. Because the satellite constellation is being built up more extensively in some locations first, beta service differs depending on where you are.
Starlink hopes to provide satellite internet to the whole world, including distant areas where it is now unavailable, over the next several years. A large constellation of energy satellites will be launched into low-altitude orbit as part of the strategy. The satellites will offer ultrafast internet connection rates by transmitting internet signals to Earth-based hubs.
For the time being, the Starlink service is only intended for stationary usage and is bound to a single service location (although there have been some successful Starlink tests in the wild). However, Musk has stated that he intends to make Starlink portable in the future, allowing consumers to carry their receivers with them wherever they go and get service.