FCC Approves SpaceX’s Third-Generation User Terminals: A Portable Laptop-Size Starlink Dish & High-Performance Model

FCC Approves SpaceX’s Third-Generation User Terminals: A Portable Laptop-Size Starlink Dish & High-Performance Model

In a recent development, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved SpaceX's application to operate third-generation Starlink dishes, expanding the horizons of high-speed, low-latency broadband satellite connectivity across the United States. The first new piece of hardware gaining approval is a smaller and portable Starlink dish, designed to be more convenient for consumers. Measuring just 0.29 meters (11.4 inches) by 0.25 meters (9.8 inches), this sleek device is approximately the size of an 'Apple MacBook' laptop. This smaller design is anticipated to enhance the portability of Starlink's broadband service, making it easier to carry for travelers or people who enjoy camping in remote regions. SpaceX's FCC application states it will "allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of high-speed, low-latency broadband wherever they live or work, including in rural and remote areas where mobile or portable applications are necessary."

However, it's important to note that the FCC's approval of these terminals exclusively pertains to the "fixed" or stationary use of these Starlink dishes, the company still needs approval for this specific model to be used in motion aboard mobile vehicles.

SpaceX's second approved dish promises a high-performance solution for consumers, aimed at surpassing the capabilities of the company's previous fixed user terminal models. This model measures at 0.57 meters (22.4 inches) by 0.36 meters (14.7 inches), offering improved performance in a more compact package when compared to the current high-performance Starlink dish that is used for enterprise applications. 

It is unknown when SpaceX will begin selling these newer models, the company has not yet released official photos of the new user antennas. According to the FCC filing, these third-generation user terminal models are compatible with both first- and second-generation Starlink satellites in orbit to usher enhanced broadband experiences. SpaceX emphasizes that these new user terminals will bring substantial benefits to American consumers. 

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Featured Image Source: SpaceX 

About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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