In a recent story by Protocol, WordPress founder CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg shared that he is using SpaceX Starlink Internet in an RV (Recreational Vehicle) and looks forward to service mobility to access the web on the road. “[…] What we recently figured out was how to mount a Starlink [dish antenna] on top [of the RV],” Mullenweg told Protocol. “You can’t drive around with it, and I think it’s geo-locked to just the Wyoming region,” he said, stating that it only took him a couple minutes to easily setup the Starlink network. “SpaceX has announced they’re going to do a mobile version, so whenever that comes, I’ll redo the whole thing. It’ll be nice not to have to mount and dismount, and it’ll work when I’m moving,” Mullenweg shared.
SpaceX’s Starlink currently only provides internet service to a specific address. The user dish antenna cannot be moved too far from the specific location. “Your Starlink is assigned to a single cell,” the company says, “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.” However, SpaceX does have plans to expand service coverage to enable mobile service. Users will be able to access the internet service everywhere, even during camping trips in remote regions.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk shared SpaceX Starlink service will go mobile sometime in 2022. “…So you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck in motion,” he said, “We need a few more satellite launches to achieve compete coverage and some key software upgrades.” Some Starlink users have tested how far away from their registered service address can they go and still access the internet, the max distance is around a 40-kilometer radius.
Last month, Musk said that Starlink “should work everywhere for global maritime by roughly middle of next year” when “enough satellites with laser links [are] launched. Until then, it will be patchy when far from land,” he said. Long-term, SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation will not need many ground stations/data centers because all of the satellites that will be launched in 2022 are equipped with inter-satellite communication laser links that will enable satellites to transfer data with one another without the need to directly receive information from the ground stations. This feature enables the company to expand service coverage much faster.
As more satellites with the laser feature are launched into space the network will achieve more coverage across the world. To date, SpaceX operates around 1,944 internet-beaming satellites in Low Earth Orbit that beam data to 20 countries. Overall, the Starlink constellation will have at least 12,000 satellites. Currently, the operational satellites in orbit generate high-speed internet download speeds ranging between 100Mbps to 200Mbps (megabits per second), some users around the world report experiencing download speeds over 250Mbps. For more information visit SpaceX's official website Starlink.com.
Featured Image Source: Photo by Evan Chasteen via Pexels/Starlink Dish Edit by Tesmanian.com
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy 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.