On October 10, SpaceX announced that Japan is the first country in Asia to have access to the Starlink Internet service. The Starlink broadband satellite network will consist of at least 12,000 satellites operating in Low Earth Orbit. To date, SpaceX has launched 3,451 satellites to orbit since 2019. To access the space-based internet, only a Starlink antenna and Wi-Fi router are needed to wireless connect to the world wide web. The satellites beam data directly to customers' user terminal antennas that only require electricity and a clear view of the sky. According to SpaceX’s Starlink Coverage Map, nearly 50% of Japan already has Starlink service coverage and the other half of the country is on "waitlist."
Starlink が日本でのサービスを開始しました － アジアでは初めてのサービス国です → https://t.co/slZbTmHdml— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 10, 2022
In September 2021, SpaceX’s Starlink division partnered with KDDI telecommunications company to work on providing internet service in rural areas of Japan. KDDI is the second-largest mobile provider in Japan that provides coverage to over 90% of the population. The company is using Starlink’s "low-latency broadband internet to KDDI's 1,200 remote mobile towers as its network backhaul provider," according to a KDDI press release. "Starlink satellites are positioned in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 550 km [kilometers], over 65 times closer than traditional satellite operators, so it can achieve significantly lower latency and higher transmission speeds for its end users. Using Starlink to backhaul service from these remote stations complements KDDI's urban towers that utilize fiber for backhaul," said KDDI. KDDI was the first company in Japan to test Starlink services in 2021 with a ground station located at one of its facilities, the Yamaguchi Satellite Communication Center.
Starlink now provides internet coverage to 44 countries and territories, including: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Chile, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Sweden, Mexico, Croatia, Lithuania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, France, Latvia, Tonga, Hungary, Ukraine, Georgia, Luxembourg, Saint Martin, St. Barthelemy, Greenland, Iceland, Estonia, Norway, Malta, Dominican Republic, Martinique and Guadeloupe which are located in the Caribbean French Islands. Most recently, SpaceX activated Starlink satellites over Hawaii and Iran. The satellite service was activated in Iran amid anti-government protests that led to authorities shutting down the internet. Read more: 'If anyone can get terminals into Iran, they will work,' says Elon Musk.
Featured Image Source: SpaceX Starlink.com
About the Author
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.