KEY POINTS

  • SpaceX Starlink satellite internet service is currently in its beta phase
  • Elon Musk promised that the service would provide better internet speed
  • The service is now available in select areas in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada

The Starlink satellite internet is already making waves even though it is still in its public beta phase. Pre-orders are now up with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk promising a much faster broadband speed.

Here are some important details about this satellite megaconstellation:

Starlink satellite internet speed

According to the latest Ookla Speedtest data shared by PCMag, Starlink satellite internet is serving over 10,000 users at a speed of up to 170 Mbps. Beta testers claim that the service has no data caps, the report added. "Our own analysis shows that Starlink will make the biggest difference in rural, low-density, low-population counties with few options other than lower-quality satellite services," PCMag wrote.

In 2019, Musk promised that Starlink will offer high-speed internet of up to 1 Gbps, which is 10% of the maximum 5G speed of 10 Gbps. A few days ago, Musk said Starlink's speed will double to 300Mb/s and latency will drop to 20 milliseconds later this year. 

User feedback is mostly positive recently, but Starlink could still improve in terms of latency.

Coverage and availability

Starlink is currently available primarily between the latitudes of 45 and 53 degrees, with a few exceptions. The company is giving more priority to "high latitudes," or areas in the northern part of the world. This includes places in the upper parts of the United States and Canada.

Musk says the company's ultimate goal is to get Starlink to all parts of the globe. The satellite internet service would be available in cities first, then "get progressively closer to the equator," Musk said last year.

Cost and pre-order details

Starlink, at its public beta phase, costs $99 monthly. Users have to invest $499 upfront for a Starlink satellite dish, modem and other necessary hardware. The company is aware of the high cost of its equipment and Musk admitted in November 2020 that "lowering terminal equipment cost. . . is actually our most difficult technical challenge.”

Those interested can visit the official Starlink website to avail of the satellite internet service. They can key in their home and email address and will soon receive a notification about the service's availability in their area.

A SpaceX Starlink satellite A SpaceX Starlink satellite in orbit (illustration) Photo: SpaceX