Starlink Explained All About Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Service . Here’s everything we know about Starlink, SpaceX’s growing constellation.
The goal of Elon Musk’s Starlink company is to provide internet access to everyone on Earth via a constellation of private satellites in Earth’s orbit. To simplify, it’s a satellite internet connection. On the other hand, this could be a true blessing for regular internet users.
Starlink accelerated in 2021 after years of internal SpaceX development. Three years and hundreds of successful launches later, the project crossed the 1,000 satellites delivered to orbit milestone in January. After a year and dozens of successful launches, Starlink has thousands of operational satellite Internet in orbit.
Space started launching Starlink satellites
The concept behind Starlink is that it can provide internet access via satellite. Starlink’s slogan is “bringing high-speed, broadband internet to places where it has been dicey or nonexistent.” Starlink is currently only available for use in stationary locations; however, mobile support is on the way.
Starlink claims to have expanded its service area to 32 nations, but the growing internet provider is still experiencing delays in getting equipment (hardware) to its consumers.
What is the current count of Starlink satellites in space?
In 2018, the prototype satellites for Starlink were successfully launched into space. Since then, there have been more than 20 successful launches, increasing the total number of satellite Internet deployed to approximately 1,300 as of February 2021. Some of the satellites were put into orbit by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 orbital rocket.
SpaceX has subsequently successfully launched thousands more Starlink satellites into the constellation, with the most recent launch occurring on August 9, 2022, and placing 52 additional satellite Internet into a geostationary transfer orbit. Over 2,000 of these satellites appear to be fully functional members of the constellation, bringing the grand total to 2,662 so far.
What is the base idea behind Starlink Satellites?
Internet service is something Starlink hopes to provide, especially to those in less-populated areas and other parts of the world that lack access to fast broadband. Starlink works best in remote locations where access to the internet has been difficult over time. Starlink, which is not pinned by the limitations of the ground, can bring high-speed broadband internet to areas where it has previously been unreliable or unavailable.
What is included in the Starlink satellite hardware kit?
A satellite dish and wireless router are included in the Starlink starter kit. Connecting is as easy as installing a satellite Internet dish in your backyard. After picking up the signal, it sends the data to your router. The Starlink app, available for Android and iOS, uses augmented reality to assist users in determining where their receivers will get the best internet speed signals in their homes.
What is the internet speed like on Starlink’s network?
According to users, download speeds on Starlink range from 50 to 200 Mbps, and upload rates are around 30 Mbps. The latency is comparable to terrestrial networks, clocking in at roughly 20 msec. In the future, SpaceX hopes to increase internet speeds to 300 Mbps, but congestion is now a problem for users in certain areas.
Are there benefits of Starlink over Fiber Connections?
While the upload and download speeds of fiber, or internet delivered via ground-laid fiber-optic cable, are significantly higher than those of satellite internet, companies like Google will tell you that there is nothing quick about deploying the infrastructure necessary to get fiber to people’s homes. Not that launching satellites is easy, but there are fewer competitors and less bureaucracy to handle, so it seems likely that services like Starlink will bring internet to the majority of unserved areas before fiber does.
Is Starlink weather dependent?
Starlink claims that its receiver can clear when exposed to snow, but the company still advises placing the system where it won’t accumulate snow or be obstructed by other objects. “Heavy rain or wind might also damage your satellite internet connection, potentially leading to decreased speeds or the occasional interruption,” it adds.
Which all locations does Starlink serves as of now?
Starlink has said it will expand its service to every country by this year, although for now, it is only available in certain areas within a few of them. Eventually, as more satellites join the constellation, the coverage map will expand significantly. The United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand are all the countries that SpaceX claims are currently covered by the expanding network of satellites in the lower Earth orbit. In addition to the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Starlink’s presale agreement now allows customers to request service in the following countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, and Chile.
Is the hardware of Starlink easy to install for a layperson?
Customers of Starlink have reported that the typical setup time for the hardware installation is just five minutes. It’s not necessary to hire a specialist. However, if the Starlink dish needs to be installed on a roof to get a good signal, the installation process could be lengthened.
SpaceX’s Starlink app for iOS and Android offers a “field of view” analyzing tool that uses your phone’s camera to identify the best possible view of the sky from your house to assist you in deciding where to put the dish.
What is the price of a Starlink connection? You’ll need to install a mountable satellite Internet dish and router, which will incur $499 in addition to the $99 monthly subscription for the service and applicable taxes and fees. SpaceX increased its prices in March to $110 per month and $599 upfront for the hardware, despite earlier projections from SpaceX executives that the hardware costs will fall over time.