SpaceX is opening pre-orders for its beta Starlink, while the satellite internet service is preparing an expansion for those who wish to abandon their ISP in favor of the orbital constellation of Elon Musk. A private Starlink beta opened in mid-2020, with about 10,000 people using the service today, according to SpaceX’s most recent announcement.
Now, however, this beta looks like it will expand considerably. Starlink is now accepting applications – complete with a $ 99 booking fee – more generally, although the length of time you actually receive the service will depend on several factors.
You will need to add your address when filling out the form, as Starlink currently does not have service for all locations in the USA. This, in addition to the speed with which you sign up, will control when you can be integrated, says SpaceX. The $ 99 booking fee is refundable and you will receive an email later to confirm when the Starlink Kit is ready to ship.
This kit includes the Starlink antenna and its mounting tripod, along with a WiFi router and power supply. In the box are also the necessary cables, both to power the antenna and to connect it to the router that must be placed inside. Starlink also offers an optional roof mount kit.
The kit as a whole costs $ 499 in the U.S., plus $ 50 in shipping and handling, although Starlink is also expanding the beta in the UK and Canada. The service costs $ 99 a month. Depending on where you are located, you can wait some time too: more than 6 months, warns SpaceX.
As for what you can expect, currently Starlink’s beta subscribers can expect data speeds from 50 Mb / s to 150 Mb / s, according to the company, while latency can range from 20 ms to 40 ms in most locations. “There will also be brief periods without connectivity”, subscribers are notified, depending on the integrity of the satellite constellation. Currently, however, there are no data limits.
The system was designed to be as simple to configure as possible. The Starlink app – available for iOS and Android – goes through the connection of the WiFi dish and router and then helps the user to guide them to ensure maximum line of sight with the satellite network. Currently, Starlink does not support moving the system to a new address, although this should evolve over time. Still, for now, if you expected to use Starlink in your RV and get out of the loop, you will be disappointed.
SpaceX recently launched a new satellite cache to join the growing constellation. It currently has over 1,000 in operation, although it plans to increase that number more than ten times when the system is complete.