Elon Musk's SpaceX has launched pre-orders for its new initiative, Starlink, described as a project aiming to provide high-speed and low latency broadband internet globally by linking up large quantities of satellites out in space.
Last year, Starlink sent over 1000 satellites into low-orbit, launching beta testing for the project called "Nothing But Beta." Some Beta users received early access to the service, while others public users could sign up by email on Starlink's official website.
Musk claims the network currently has over 10,000 users worldwide after testing its services last year and is now looking to increase that number in a Federal Communications Commission filing last week. Musk tweeted, "SpaceX needs to pass through a deep chasm of negative cash flow over the next year or so to make Starlink financially viable. Every new satellite constellation in history has gone bankrupt. We hope to be the first that does not."
The website boasts unique properties of the service, offering speed varying from 50 megabits per second to 150Mbps. The latency - which is the time taken for data sent from one place to another - is expected to be low, ranging from 20 milliseconds to 40ms only.
What makes Starlink different from the rest of the space-based providers is that its small satellites are placed 60 times closer to the Earth than previously used satellites, allowing connections to be established in some of the most challenging areas. "When satellites are far from Earth, latency is high, resulting in poor performance for activities like video calls and online gaming," says their website.
Check out the most recent Starlink satellite deployment below:
Pre-ordering the Starlink is available with a deposit of $99 to get started and fully refundable. The Starlink hardware kit includes Starlink, Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables, and mounting tripod retail $499. After your deposit, the Starlink team will update as to when the broadband users will have access to the services with many locations, given a message stating that services may not be available in their area until mid-2021 or 2022.
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