Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX, claimed in multiple tweets that his company’s growing satellite internet service, Starlink, had deployed 100,000 terminals to customers in 14 countries. According to Musk, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand are among the countries served by the increasing network of low Earth orbit satellites.
SpaceX’s network of around 2,000 low-Earth-orbit satellites, known as Starlink, is designed to beam internet around the planet.
After starting as a beta service in certain countries in October of last year, Starlink has witnessed steady growth this year. Musk claimed in February that the service had over 10,000 users. CNBC reported a few months later that the number of clients had risen to 90,000, with hundreds of thousands more on the Starlink waiting list.
With satellites in lower orbits than competitors such as Hughesnet and Viasat, Starlink claims to be able to connect people to the internet at triple-digit download speeds and with lower latency. Unlike traditional satellite connections, which can feel sluggish due to the distance your data must travel, these Starlink satellites promise seamless internet connectivity.
The maximum download rates are 250 Mbps, which is faster than HughesNet and Viasat’s. It also has a latency of 20 to 40 milliseconds, compared to HughesNet and Viasat’s normal range of 450-700 milliseconds.
Second, Starlink simplifies things by offering only two satellite internet plans: Starlink and the Starlink Premium. This ultra-high-speed Premium tier is a little costlier and would be available by the summer of 2022. Further, it offers a different satellite dish and equipment to ensure high download speeds.
The strength of Starlink’s connection is expected to increase as SpaceX continues to add satellites to the constellation, but some astronomers have expressed concerns about impediments to night sky visibility. SpaceX said it’s working on better satellite designs with nonreflective exteriors to solve those issues.