Elon Musk’s Satellite Internet Starting In Next 35 Days? 1500 Satellites Already In Space
SpaceX Starlink satellites in a position to offer broadband coverage in most parts of the world. Starlink rolled out pre-reservation invites in India and the service should be available next year.
The target, according to Kate Tice, a senior programme reliability engineer at SpaceX, is to bring high-speed internet to areas where it has never been available before and at an affordable cost. “We’re checking how fast data travels from the satellites to our customers, and then back to the rest of the internet. Initial results have been good,” she said. “Our network, of course, is very much a work in progress,” she noted. “And over time, we will continue to add features to unlock the full capability of that network,” SpaceX claims that data speed latency and uptime will improve further with the launch of more satellites, installation of more ground stations and upgrading of networking software.
Kate Tice, Senior Programme Reliability Engineer, SpaceX
Starlink Will Serve Rural Communities
Starlink mainly serves rural communities through its 1,635 low-Earth orbit satellites. A beta kit costs $499 upfront, plus $99 a month for a subscription.
The target, according to Kate Tice, a senior programme reliability engineer at SpaceX, is to bring high-speed internet to areas where it has never been available before and at an affordable cost.
SpaceX plans to use airline antennas, which work in a similar way to existing user terminals but have “obvious enhancements for aviation connectivity,” Hofeller said. The company would design and build tech-specific aircraft, he added.
Low-Earth Orbit Satellites Would Outperform Existing Geostationary Satellites
SpaceX would start connecting each Starlink satellite with laser links that don’t need to bounce off ground stations and so aeroplanes flying over these areas such as remote areas, oceans, can still offer in-flight internet.
“The next generation of our constellation, which is in work, will have this inter-satellite connectivity,” Hofeller said during the summit, per The Verge.
“It’s going to be up to the individual airline whether they want to be responsive to that, or if they’re okay with having a system that is not as responsive to their customers’ demand,” he said.
Starlink is promising 100mbps download and 20mbps upload speeds at a time when broadband speed across the city and outside is iffy and inconsistent, at times hitting speeds that can barely be called broadband.
At first, Starlink will not be a commercially viable option for folks in cities or well-connected towns. The website says, “If any object such as a tree, chimney, pole, etc. interrupts the path of the beam, even briefly, your Internet service will be interrupted.”
So, it will not be a replacement for fast wireline Internet service. “You can think of Starlink as filling in the gaps between 5G and fibre and getting to the parts of the world that are the hardest to reach,” Musk said at MWC.
Starlink Internet In Airplanes
Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s vice president of Starlink and commercial sales, said during the Connected Aviation Intelligence Summit on Wednesday, per the Verge. that SpaceX was in talks with commercial airlines to beam Starlink internet to their aeroplanes.
“We’re in talks with several of the airlines,” Hofeller said. “We have our aviation product in development … we’ve already done some demonstrations to date, and looking to get that product finalized to be put on aircraft in the very near future.”
To make Wi-Fi seamless on aeroplanes flying over remote parts of the ocean will require inter-satellite links or when satellites talk to each other using laser links without first bouncing signals off ground stations.
However, promising the future of Starlink looks, there will always be a discussion about space debris and pollution. But that’s not stopping Musk. “It looks like a UFO on a stake. There are two instructions, and they can be done in either order: Point at the sky, plugin,” that’s what the billionaire has said while explaining how simple it is to set up the broadband service of Starlink.