SpaceX Starlink Customer Uses Internet Service Aboard SUV While Camping In Utah

SpaceX Starlink Customer Uses Internet Service Aboard SUV While Camping In Utah

Featured Image Source: CharlesFrostbadost via Reddit

SpaceX is on track to providing nationwide Starlink satellite internet coverage. The company is primarily focused on serving customers in the United States who live in rural or remote regions, places where terrestrial internet infrastructures cannot offer reliable service. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell says SpaceX will “serve every rural household in the United States” which is “roughly 60 million people.” To date, the company operates approximately 1,625 satellites in orbit out of over 12,000 it plans to launch. The company expects to achieve ‘near-global’ internet coverage by the end of this year. Shotwell says that SpaceX still has “a lot of work to do to make the network reliable.” Widespread service reliability will come after over 4,400 satellites are orbiting Earth. SpaceX is already providing Starlink beta service to over 10,000 customers in the U.S. and abroad.

This week, a U.S. Starlink customer, who goes by the name CharlesFrostbadost via Reddit, shared that they tested the Starlink network while camping in the rural town of Castle Valley, Utah. They shared a photograph of SpaceX’s Starlink phased-array antenna dish atop their SUV in the middle of the desert, along beautiful rock formations. –“Posted up in Utah using the internet in the middle of nowhere while watching satellites streak across the sky. Can’t wait for full mobility!” The dish requires power to obtain signal from the satellite constellation in low Earth orbit. “I used a Jackery 1500 solar generator with 400w of solar. Should hopefully be enough to power it indefinitely if the weather is good! My plan is to work remotely as much as I can after It goes mobile,” they said.

Reddit user CharlesFrostbadost also conducted an online speed test while camping, the Starlink network provided them with high-speed internet service of 111.39Mbps [megabits per second] and latency of 37ms [milliseconds] which is quite fast given the remote location (image below). However, the camping area is “10 or so miles” away from their home, so their connection faded at times – “Not ideal but still functional. Just occasional signal loss. There were a few hours with no interruptions and then they increased come nighttime,” they said. Currently, Starlink customers can only use the service at a specific region and address, the dish antenna cannot be moved too far from the specific user’s address location to receive connection. “Your Starlink is assigned to a single cell,” the company stated, “If you move your Starlink outside of its assigned cell, a satellite will not be scheduled to serve your Starlink and you will not receive internet.” SpaceX founder Elon Musk says the company does have plans to make Starlink a mobile internet service. On April 15, Musk said that SpaceX Starlink service will go “fully mobile later this year… So you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck in motion. We need a few more satellite launches to achieve compete coverage & some key software upgrades,” he said.

 Source: CharlesFrostbadost via Reddit

Featured Image Source: CharlesFrostbadost 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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