SpaceX Starlink Service Arrives To New Zealand, Residents Test Network & Find Ground Station

SpaceX Starlink Service Arrives To New Zealand, Residents Test Network & Find Ground Station

SpaceX’s Starlink broadband internet service arrived to New Zealand. Customers shared via social media their equipment to connect to the satellite constellation arrived this week. New Zealand residents shared on their YouTube channel called ‘9 and 3’ the installation of the Starlink Kit which includes a pizza-sized phased array dish, futuristic looking Wi-Fi router, plus power and mounting equipment necessary to connect to the constellation of satellites in orbit. Currently, SpaceX operates approximately 1,385 internet-beaming Starlink satellites, most operating in low Earth orbit. The New Zealand residents are among the first to become Starlink beta customers, live in Ferrymead, Christchurch, located in the South Island of the country. In their video, they unboxed the Starlink kit and set up the dish easily. They tested the network by temporarily placing the dish antenna atop a Tesla vehicle outdoors.  They shared it took around 15-minutes to setup the network. “…It feels very futuristic! Its incredibly simple!”

They also performed a speed test of the network, which provided them with download speeds ranging from 83 to 148 megabits per second which they said was significantly faster than their previous internet provider which offered download speeds of 19 megabits per second. SpaceX founder Elon Musk said SpaceX targets to increase download speeds to 400 megabits per second as they deploy more satellites to orbit. “We found that with a few repetitive tests we got a few different results, I guess that’s expected at this time because the satellites are constantly being out into positions over the coming months,” they said, “But really impressed with how quick and easy it was to get it up and running.”  You can watch their eight-minute video about their initial impressions of the Starlink broadband service in the YouTube video below.


Source: ‘9 and 3’ via YouTube

Another New Zealand resident, who goes by the name nz365guy via Reddit, shared they found a Starlink Gateway ground station in the middle of a beautiful forest-like area situated in Whangārei, a city in the North Island of New Zealand, pictured below. Ground stations are the linking factor between the satellites in space and the internet data centers on Earth that connect to existing fiber-optic infrastructure that connects to the world wide web. The company plans to build hundreds of these Starlink Gateway stations; Long-term, the satellites will be equipped with lasers which will enable the satellites to beam data to one another without the need for ground stations. In January, SpaceX launched the first batch of 10 satellites to operate in Polar Orbit to service Alaska, which feature "laser links between the satellites, so no ground stations are needed over the poles,” Musk said. With lasers the Starlink satellites will be capable of transferring hundreds of gigabytes of data. SpaceX is already accepting broadband service pre-orders worldwide via 

Image Source: nz365guy via Reddit

About the Author

Evelyn Arevalo

Evelyn 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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