SpaceX receives approval to operate Starlink Gateway stations for Internet service in France

SpaceX receives approval to operate Starlink Gateway stations for Internet service in France

Featured Image Source: Merrillan, Wisconsin Starlink Ground Station darkpenguin22 via Reddit

SpaceX is getting closer to providing Starlink internet service across the world. Earlier today, SpaceX’s latest Starlink mission launched 60 satellites atop a Falcon 9 rocket, increasing the satellite constellation’s size to approximately 1,013 satellites operating in low Earth orbit – the world’s largest broadband internet constellation. The aerospace company plans to launch over 4,400 satellites that will beam connection even to the most remote areas on the planet. Customers receive internet from the satellite constellation via a phased-array antenna and Wi-Fi router device. Additionally, SpaceX will build hundreds of Starlink Gateway ground stations that will enhance the network’s capabilities.



SpaceX engineers shared the Starlink user antenna dish is more technologically advanced than what fighter jets are currently equipped with. The Starlink dish “is able to electronically scan the sky in a matter of milliseconds and lock into the satellite overhead, even though its travelling 17,500 mph overhead,” the SpaceX engineer shared via Reddit last year, “When it detects a satellite the Starlink hones in on its position and makes a request to join the internet. After that, the dish is able to download a schedule of which satellites to talk to next and with that, it can point right at the satellites when the time comes,” they explained.

Today, the company announced –“Starlink is now delivering initial beta service both domestically and internationally, and will continue expansion to near global coverage of the populated world in 2021.” SpaceX is selecting its Starlink beta service customers from specific locations at high-latitudes located in Northern United States, Canada, and United Kingdom. “During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s [megabits per second] to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms [miliseconds] in most locations over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all. As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically,” the company stated on January 20 in its updated website. You can sign-up via to receive updates about when service will be available in your country. 

SpaceX Starlink will soon expand to other countries in Europe. The company received approval from Arcep, French telecommunications regulatory agency, to build and operate Starlink Gateway stations in France. The ground stations will operate as an internet server communication infrastructure that enables the satellites in orbit to communicate with one another and the user dish terminals. According to official Arcep documents in French language shared by @Megaconstellati via Twitter, SpaceX plans to operate three Starlink ground stations in France and one in United Kingdom, as shown in the map below. [Map compiled by @Megaconstellati.] The company is already providing broadband connection to United Kingdom and is pending approval to initiate service in France. 



Image Source: Map compiled by @Megaconstellati via Twitter

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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