SpaceX's Starlink service already serves more than 10,000 people with broadband broadcast from space.
Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX in California, has just announced how he will advance the $ 10 billion project over the next few years as the company regularly launches rockets to deploy its Starlink satellites in near-earth orbit. More than 1,000 of the small satellites are already in operation high above the clouds.
SpaceX recently said that the current beta service is offering people in parts of the US, Canada and the UK internet speeds of around 100 megabits per second (Mbps). In a tweet posted on Monday, February 22nd, Musk said that should climb to 300 Mbps later this year. This may not be the kind of super-fast speed some people already enjoy, but as Musk points out, this is a significant improvement in the speed that many people experience in the low-to-medium population areas Starlink is aiming for.
Musk added that Starlink's latency – the time it takes for data to travel between the original source and destination – should improve to around 20 milliseconds "later this year". That's twice as fast as some of Starlink's beta customers.
The SpaceX boss also believes his rocket company will have deployed enough Starlink satellites by the end of this year to provide "most of the earth" with some level of Internet service, with the entire planet covered sometime in 2022 will be. "Then it starts compaction of the cover," said Musk.
Most of the earth by the end of the year, all of them by next year, then it's about compacting the cover.
It is important to note that cellular communications always have the advantage in dense urban areas.
Satellites are best suited for areas with low to medium population density.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2021
SpaceX launched a simple beta test of the $ 99 monthly service for select users in the summer of 2020. Earlier this month, SpaceX was opened to more users by accepting online applications through its website.
The private aerospace company says the goal of its ambitious Starlink project is to "provide fast, reliable internet in places where access has been unreliable, expensive or completely unavailable".
The initiative has the potential to become a big moneymaker for SpaceX too. Musk suggests in 2019 that Starlink could ultimately generate up to $ 50 billion in annual sales if it can secure just a few percent of the global telecommunications market.