Starlink Satellite Illustration Created By: Erc X @ErcXspace via Twitter
SpaceX aims to offer Starlink satellite internet worldwide. Primarily focused in locations where traditional terrestrial internet is unreliable and unavailable. SpaceX operates approximately 960 Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit out of over 4,000 it plans to deploy. A Starlink Beta service is currently being offered in Canada and northern United States. SpaceX targets to offer Starlink across the globe by 2021, as more satellites are gradually deployed to increase the network’s capabilities.
Early November, SpaceX Vice President of Build and Flight Reliability Hans Königsmann shared the company is working towards obtaining the necessary license to offer Starlink service in Germany. Nearly 20% of the country’s households do not have access to internet at reliable speeds, exceeding 100 megabits per second [Mpbps]. “If everything goes according to plan, we will start this year in Germany. Our mission is to provide fast Internet access to remote corners of the world,” Königsmann said to Wirtschaftswoche, a news outlet in Germany. SpaceX engineers state the satellites are designed to beam high-speed internet with low-latency of 20 milliseconds. Starlink customers receive internet from the satellites in orbit via a phased-array dish antenna that can be mounted on a rooftop, pictured below.
The Federal Network Agency, Germany’s telecommunication regulators, approved SpaceX Starlink operations in the country this week. The agency assigned the U.S. company radio frequencies for the satellite internet network. “We have created the legal frequency requirements so that broadband internet can be offered via satellite in Germany,” Jochen Homann, the head of the regulatory agency told Finanzen news on Friday. Due to the novelty of the Starlink network, the regulatory agency states the frequency allocation is limited to one year to make adjustments for long-term approval. SpaceX also received permission to build Starlink ground stations in Germany. Two stations are already undergoing construction. These Earth stations will be like data gateways to ensure stable connection to the space-based internet.
About the Author
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.