The rest of the world, including parts of Asia and the entire African continent, is labeled “Coming Soon” in the screenshot. Starlink could be launched in these regions, including India and Bangladesh, by 2023.
Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite-based internet service, is now available in 32 countries around the world. The company, which is owned by the renowned Elon Musk, states that satellite dishes can be shipped immediately.
Previously, buyers had to wait several months for a Sterlink satellite dish. SpaceX has taken a screenshot of the countries that can provide Starlink services.
It indicates that Sterlink Internet will be accessible in most European and North American regions. The service will be accessible throughout New Zealand, Australia and parts of South America.
Technically a division of SpaceX, Starlink is also the name of the growing network of orbiting satellites, or “constellation.” Development of this network began in 2015 and the first prototype satellites were launched into orbit in 2018.
In the years since, SpaceX has deployed thousands of Starlink satellites into the constellation through dozens of successful launches, with the most recent on April 21 and 53 additional satellites launched into low Earth orbit. This brings the total number of satellites launched to 2,388, of which more than 2,000 appear to be operational components of the constellation.
According to internet speed tracking website Ookla, which analyzed internet performance by satellite in the fourth quarter of 2021, Starlink offered download speeds of more than 100 Mbps in 15 different countries in 2021, with average speeds in the fourth quarter being higher than in the previous quarter. the third quarter. In the United States, Starlink offered average download speeds of about 105 Mbps and average upload speeds of about 12 Mbps, which is about five to six times faster than the averages for satellite competitors Viasat and HughesNet and just below average for the entire fixed wireless Internet category. including satellite and other methods of delivering connectivity to people’s homes without a ground-based infrastructure.
Starlink’s website warns users for data rates of 50 to 150 megabits per second and a latency between 20 and 40 milliseconds in most locations in the coming months, as well as short periods of no connection. As more satellites are launched, more ground stations are installed and our network software is improved, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.
Musk tweeted in February 2018 that he expected the service’s top speed to double to 300Mbps by the end of 2021. Now, in 2022, it is difficult to evaluate such claims as speeds will vary based on location and time.
CNET’s John Kim signed up for the service at his California home last year and has recently begun testing it in several locations. At home, he achieved an average download speed of 78 Mbps and a latency of 36 ms.
Starlink now accepts orders from parts of Asia including Bangladesh and India on a first come, first served basis, so you need to request service, make a $99 deposit and then wait in line. During the beta in 2021, Starlink stated that it could take up to six months to fulfill some pre-orders; in some regions, Starlink now states that new orders may not be fulfilled until 2023 or later.
The service was initially billed at $99 per month plus taxes and fees, plus an initial payment of $499 for the mountable satellite dish and router to be installed in your home. In March, despite previous predictions from SpaceX executives that hardware costs would fall over time, SpaceX raised those prices to $110 per month and $599 upfront for the hardware.
The $110 a month is a lot to pay for an Internet connection, especially one that’s not even as fast as a fiber connection, but Musk bets it’ll be worth it for those who’ve never had access to a consistently fast connection.
In April of last year, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell stated that Starlink wanted to keep pricing as simple and straightforward as possible and had no plans to implement service levels. However, a new premium tier is expected in 2022 with a scan array twice the size of the standard plan and download speeds of 150 to 500 Mbps. This tier costs $500 per month in addition to an initial gear payment of $2,500. Starlink is currently accepting orders for this tier, with plans to launch the service in 2022.
The Starlink service is currently limited to certain regions in certain countries, despite the company’s promise to cover the entire planet by this fall. Nevertheless, the coverage map will expand significantly as more satellites are added to the constellation.
According to Musk, the growing network of low-Earth orbit satellites currently serves the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Australia and New Zealand. The Starlink pre-order agreement includes options to request service in Italy, Poland, Spain and Chile, among others.
Starlink will likely need at least 10,000 satellites in orbit before it can claim to provide full service to the majority of the world (and SpaceX has shown signs it wants as many as 42,000 satellites in the constellation). Currently, coverage is focused on regions between latitude 45 and 53 degrees north, which is about 20 percent of the way there at best.
Musk has remained optimistic about the Starlink timeline. Musk stated in an interview at Mobile World Congress in 2021 that Starlink would be available worldwide in August, excluding the North and South Poles. Shotwell expressed a similar sentiment in June, predicting that Starlink would be usable globally this fall.
“We have successfully deployed about 1,800 satellites and once all of these satellites are in operational orbit we will have continuous global coverage, which should be around September,” she said.
In September, a Twitter user asked Musk when the Starlink beta phase would end. “Next month,” Musk replied.
Why are satellites really necessary? Isn’t fiberglass faster?
Fiber optic, or internet delivered via grounded fiber optic cable, offers significantly faster upload and download speeds than satellite internet. However, companies like Google will tell you that implementing the infrastructure needed to bring fiber into people’s homes is not a quick process. That’s not to say launching satellites into space is easy, but with less keen competitors and far less red tape to cut through, there’s every reason to believe that services like Starlink will reach the majority of underserved communities. before fiberglass ever will. Recent FCC filings also indicate that Starlink could eventually serve as a standalone telephone service.
Early reports from publications such as Fast Company and CNBC suggest Starlink’s early customers are happy with the service, though the company warns of “short periods of no connection at all” during the beta.
DownDetector.com, a website that monitors service outages, lists four outages for Starlink in 2021, one in January, February and April, with the most recent on May 6. In comparison, DownDetector reports no major outages for HughesNet in 2021 and one for ViaSat in February.
Reddit users from Arizona to Alberta, Canada reported the outage in May; for the majority, service was restored within a few hours.
What about bad weather and other obstacles?
Certainly one of the drawbacks of satellite internet. According to Starlink’s FAQ, the receiver is able to melt snow that lands on it, but cannot prevent snow or other obstacles from blocking its line of sight to the satellite.
The FAQ states: “We recommend installing Starlink in a location where snow build-up and other obstacles will not interfere with the field of view.” Heavy rain or wind can also affect your satellite internet connection, possibly resulting in slower speeds or intermittent interference.
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