Starlink by Elon Musk

Starlink: Elon Musk’s satellite internet idea

Starlink: Elon Musk’s satellite internet idea, maybe the future of the internet. Billionaire CEO Elon Musk has his eyes set on satellite internet and the statistics are jaw-dropping even in beta.

Elon Musk is mostly known for his ventures in Tesla’s Electric vehicles and SpaceX’s Mars settlement vision however, he is planning to add another crazy idea in his portfolio, Starlink, which seeks to provide internet connectivity to almost every corner in the world using private satellites.

Constellation of Starlink Satellites
Starlink constellation

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SpaceX gave the name ‘Starlink’ for its growing network of orbiting satellites a.k.a “constellation“. In 2015, Starlink came into the picture however by 2018, it had already launched its first orbiting prototype.

Since then, Starlink has deployed more than 1000 satellites from more than 20 successful launches. In Starlink’s first mission in January 2021, SpaceX launched 60 satellites from Kennedy Space Center using its revolutionary relaunchable and landable Falcon 9 orbital rocket.

Why and What is the use of these satellites?

The simple idea is to sell the internet like any other service provider but through satellites particularly in rural areas where broadband service is hard to reach.

“Unbounded by traditional ground infrastructure, Starlink can deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable or completely unavailable.”

– the Starlink website

To make a connection, one needs to simply set up a small dish satellite provided by the company however with Starlink app, available on both Android and iOS, helps determine the best position and location for the satellite; receivers using the augmented reality.

Starlink currently has around 10,00 customers but the vision is to provide service to the whole planet.

“Users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50 to 150 megabits per second and latency from 20 to 40 milliseconds in most locations over the next several months,”

– the Starlink website

The internet speed may reach around 300Mbps by the end of 2021 as per Elon Musk’s tweet.

Starlink is currently in its beta program “Better than Nothing”. The service is marked at $99 per month exclusive of taxes also with an initial payment of $499 for the mountable dish satellite and router. To select participants for the beta program, Starlink is using simple first come first serve tactics. But if you are on the waiting list then it might take around six months to get enrolled.

Locations where Starlink is available

  • Northeast US
  • adjacent part of Canada
  • Some parts of the UK
  • other selected regions.

However, Starlink has estimated to cover the entire planet by the end of 2022.

One downside to satellite connectivity over Fiber connectivity is its dependence on weather conditions.

“We recommend installing Starlink in a location that avoids snow build-up and other obstructions from blocking the field of view,” the FAQ reads. “Heavy rain or wind can also affect your satellite internet connection, potentially leading to slower speeds or a rare outage.”

– the Starlink website

As per the FAQs on the website, the provided received is well capable of melting snow on its body but is not immune to surrounding snow and obstacles.

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