SpaceX recently submitted a new filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which reveals the company’s plans to design a portable, smaller version of the Starlink user terminal to access the satellite internet. The new dish will measure 11.4 inches (0.29 meters) by 9.8 inches (0.25 meters), making it about the size of a laptop, like the Apple MacBook. In comparison, the standard Starlink user antenna that residential customers currently use measures 20.2 by 11.9 inches which is around the size of a large pizza-box – this is too big to carry around. SpaceX’s filing to the FCC says the new smaller version of the Starlink user antenna will be designed “to 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.”
In the document, SpaceX asked the FCC for authorization to test the portable user terminal. “Since 2019, SpaceX has deployed over 3,800 satellites, sufficient to support introduction of its high-capacity, low-latency broadband services across the United States –including the most remote corners and polar regions of the country that too often get left behind,” wrote SpaceX. “The demand for more broadband is surging and the need for connectivity has never been more important. Granting this application will serve the public interest by authorizing a new class of ground-based components for SpaceX’s satellite systems that will enhance the range of broadband capabilities available throughout the United States.”
The FCC application also says SpaceX plans to release another next-generation Starlink user terminal that is a “high-performance solution” for business customers which is 22.4 inches (0.57 meters) by 14.7 inches (0.36 meters, as written in the document). The size is larger than the laptop-size version but smaller than the current operational high-performance Starlink Business terminal that costs $2,500 USD and measures 22.7 by 20.1 inches, according to SpaceX’s official Starlink.com website.
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Featured Image Source: SpaceX
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.