KEY POINTS

  • Starlink's beta disclosure says internet speed ideally ranges anywhere between 50 to 150 Mbps
  • Musk acknowledges the advantages cellular data has in urban areas with optimal network services
  • The service has the potential to rake in as much as $30 billion annually

SpaceX is aiming to double the internet speed provided by the Starlink satellite system to 300Mbps later this year, according to CEO Elon Musk.

The company has already set proper expectations regarding the estimated speed, which should ideally range anywhere between 50 to 150 Mbps. Although it was not announced via official channels, Musk shared details about the same via social media.

The original thread was posted on Feb. 22 by Twitter user @SpaceXFan97 and read: “Today I finally received my Starlink beta kit from @SpaceX . I've wanted Starlink ever since it was announced years ago and now that I finally have it and I couldn't be happier!” He then offered an overview of how much he currently pays for traditional internet service along with the speeds for downloads and uploads.

After posting his installation progress, Musk replied to the subscriber’s tweet about the initial speed test he performed using the Starlink service. The Tesla CEO stated: “Speed will double to ~300Mb/s & latency will drop to ~20ms later this year.”

The Verge points out that these numbers are not exactly groundbreaking, but it is faster than what most regular providers can manage in certain areas.

What followed was another query from a different user about Starlink’s coverage and Musk replied with another update. “Most of Earth by end of the year, all by next year, then it’s about densifying coverage.” It is worth noting that he acknowledges the advantages cellular data has in urban areas with optimal network services.

However, when it comes to “low to medium population density areas,” satellite-based services are still the best option. Starlink is an array of interconnected satellites that people in the space industry refer to as a  “constellation,” says CNBC. Ideally, once all the necessary equipment and systems are fully optimized, it would make high-speed internet access possible from anywhere on the planet.

From a financial standpoint, the completed project would cost the company approximately a little over $10 billion. On the other hand, it also has the potential to rake in as much as $30 billion annually. SpaceX already has more than 1,000 Starlink satellites in orbit to date.

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