SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service is priced at $99 per month plus a $499 upfront cost, according to company’s e-mail
Last week, we wrote about SpaceX after Elon Musk space company launched 60 new Starlink internet satellites, totaling more than 800 Starlink satellites in orbit. Starlink is a satellite internet constellation that provides satellite Internet access. According to SpaceX, the constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), working in combination with ground transceivers. SpaceX also plans to sell some of the satellites for military, scientific, or exploratory purposes.
Yesterday, SpaceX said that it is expanding the beta test of its Starlink satellite internet service, according to a report from CNBC, citing an email first obtained from SpaceX signed by Starlink Team. Per the report, SpaceX reached out on Monday to people who had expressed interest in signing up for the service. Known as the “Better Than Nothing Beta” test, the initial Starlink service is priced at $99 a month – plus a $499 upfront cost to order the Starlink Kit. That kit includes a user terminal to connect to the satellites, a mounting tripod, and a wifi router.
“As you can tell from the title, we are trying to lower your initial expectations,” the emails said, signed Starlink Team. “Expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.”
SpaceX said it has plans to deploy nearly 12,000 satellites in three orbital shells by the mid-2020s, with each satellite weighing about 500 pounds (227 kilograms), making this the heaviest payload flew on a Falcon 9.
The emails, sent to an unspecified number of users, marks the launch of SpaceX’s public beta test of the emerging internet service. For the last few months SpaceX has conducted a limited private beta test with employees – which the company has said showed strong results in both latency and download speeds, key measures for an internet service provider.
The total cost of the decade-long project to design, build, and deploy such a network is estimated at nearly US$10 billion. In 2019 alone, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has raised over $1 billion this year as its internet satellite production ramps up, the company said in an SEC filing released earlier today. As a sign of investors’ interest in the direction of the company, SpaceX said it raised more funding than previously thought. SpaceX venture brought in $1.02 billion since the beginning of the year, more than SpaceX was seeking.