SpaceX operates a broadband constellation of around 1,791 internet-beaming Starlink satellites in Low Earth Orbit. “Starlink provides high-speed, low-latency broadband internet across the globe. Within each coverage area, orders are fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis,” the company wrote in its updated Starlink.com website. SpaceX updated its Starlink website this week, it now suggests that the internet service is out of Beta mode and the network is now producing faster internet speeds.
Over the past year, SpaceX’s Starlink division has been working on expanding the network’s coverage and capabilities. Before, SpaceX told potential customers that during the Beta phase the service would generate download speeds ranging from 50Mbps to 150Mbps (megabits per second) and latency from 20ms to 40ms (milliseconds), the company also told its users that they might also experience “brief periods of no connectivity at all”, that has since been deleted from the official SpaceX website. Now, the company appears to be confident that it’s satellite network can provide high-speed internet connection to customers. “Using advanced satellites in a low orbit, Starlink enables video calls, online gaming, streaming, and other high data rate activities that historically have not been possible with satellite internet. Users can expect to see download speeds between 100 Mbps and 200 Mbps and latency as low as 20ms in most locations,” SpaceX wrote in the updated website.
“Starlink is ideally suited for areas where connectivity has been unreliable or completely unavailable. People across the globe are using Starlink to gain access to education, health services and even communications support during natural disasters,” they stated.
SpaceX has been able to increase its service capacity and is accepting pre-orders globally, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the workforce in several sectors worldwide which is causing delays in Starlink equipment production. According to the Starlink.com FAQ section, “Silicon shortages have delayed production which has impacted our ability to fulfill orders,” SpaceX wrote, asking their customers to -“Please visit your Account page for the most recent estimate on when you can expect your order to be fulfilled.” Silicon is a semiconductor material used in technology, like chip and electronic circuit manufacturing.
However, the company did tell potential customs that if coverage is readily available in their region they would ‘ship Starlink Kits out within 2 weeks’. “Due to high demand, we currently only support one Starlink subscription per account, however we expect to offer this option in the future,” they stated. SpaceX already has over half-a-million service pre-orders.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk said earlier this month that Starlink would be out of Beta mode by the end of October and that they would rollout “nationwide” Starlink service across the United States before this year ends. To date, the Starlink constellation provides internet service to at least 15 countries around the world, including: United States, Canada, Chile, United Kingdom, France, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, and Germany.
The website also has other updated sections related to the network’s hardware. The FAQ section mentions that the Starlink phased-array dish antenna “is designed and tested to handle a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions including snow, hail, sleet, heavy rain, and extreme heat. Starlink is not designed to handle hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, meteors, dinosaurs, or other extreme forces of nature,” it jokingly states in true Musk-style.
“Starlink is rated to operate outdoors between -30 to +50 degrees Celsius, or -22 to +122 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Wi-Fi router and power supply are also rated to operate indoors between 0 to +30 degrees Celsius, or +32 to +86 degrees Fahrenheit. During moments of extreme heat or cold, Starlink may experience slightly reduced performance,” the company said. “Starlink also has the ability to melt snow! This feature helps prevent service degradation during wintry conditions. We recommend installing Starlink in a location that avoids snow build-up and other obstructions from blocking the field of view.”
Featured Images Source: 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.