Early SpaceX Starlink beta customers say they are 'Streaming 4K with zero buffering'

by Evelyn Arevalo October 31, 2020

Early SpaceX Starlink beta customers say they are 'Streaming 4K with zero buffering'

Image Sources: FourthEchelon19 via Reddit / Rawku2 via Reddit.

A few days ago, SpaceX started to offer Starlink satellite broadband internet service in areas located in the northern United States and southern Canada. With approximately 888 internet-beaming satellites in orbit the Starlink network is capable of providing 'moderate' broadband coverage. Early Starlink customers have shared photographs via social media of the Starlink Kit that is utilized to receive internet connection from the satellites in space. The Starlink Kit includes: "Dishy McFlatface" which is a 19-inch dish phased-array antenna, a mounting tripod for the dish, and an oddly-shaped Wi-Fi router device, pictured below.

Image Source: Reddit user Akumzy 

Image Source: Reddit user Rawku2

STARLINK WI-FI ROUTER Image Source: Rawku2

SpaceX priced the Starlink Kit at $499 USD. The company states the phased-array dish "is more advanced than what's in fighter jets." The monthly broadband service fee is priced at $99 USD. SpaceX told early customers that they are part of a beta testing phase of the network called "Better Than Nothing Beta" test program. The company sent out an e-mail to potential customers which details what early Starlink users can expect from being part of the program --"As you can see from the title, we are trying to lower your initial expectations," SpaceX wrote, "Expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s [megabits per second] and latency from 20ms to 40ms [milliseconds] over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all," the email reads. SpaceX states that as more satellites are deployed to orbit the network's speed and reliability will increase --"As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically," the company wrote. "For latency, we expect to achieve 16ms to 19ms by summer 2021."

Image Source: Reddit user Rawku2

Early Starlink customers have tested their Starlink network speed. This week, a Twitter user shared results from a Starlink beta tester in Washington state, who said they have been able to stream videos at  "1440p and 4K with zero buffering on YouTube" using SpaceX's internet service. A screenshot of the speed results (shown below) says the Starlink user experienced a latency speed of 38 miliseconds (ms), download speed of 134 megabits per second (mbps) and upload of 14.8 mbps. --"Latency will improve significantly soon. Bandwidth too," the founder of SpaceX Elon Musk replied to the post via Twitter.

 

Musk previously said that SpaceX targets to offer its Starlink customers high-speed broadband internet with low-latency of 20ms. This capability will be unlocked as more satellites are deployed to orbit. The company plans to continue deploying approximately 120 satellites on a monthly basis to rapidly expand the network's coverage in 2021. Submit your e-mail via Starlink.com if you would like to receive updates about when the service will be available in your area. 





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