Starlink : high speed internet by satellite is on the way
Starlink, the project of internet services by satellite of SpaceX progressed a lot this year. On the one hand, the company finalized deals with other firms to improve its project. And on the other hand, a beta test of the service has been launched in several places in North America.
New partnerships, new possibilities
Beside a huge fundraising this summer, SpaceX has recently forged important partnerships.
The space company has partnered with Microsoft’s cloud offer “Azure” to connect Starlink’s network across the globe. The Redmond’s firm thus shows its great ambitions in space industry.
SpaceX also formalize an important collaboration with LeoLabs to assure the well being of its constellation. Indeed, this company is in charge of satellite’s tracking. This is a major role because it assures constellation’s viability and helps to prevent space debris.
Internet access is under beta testing
After testing the service by its employees, SpaceX is proposing a beta test since Monday 26 October 2020 in some US states like Wyoming or Idaho. Subscription cost 99$ per month plus 499$ for installation of the antenna and the router. On the whole, customers are quite satisfied of service’s quality : internet speed is good and latency correct.
Some clouds on the horizon
Despite a global satisfaction, some critics have been made against price-quality ratio of the service. Moreover, latency will be quite hard to resorb because of the distance between satellite and antenna. In addition, there is still a lot of worry about luminous pollution (harmful for astronomy) and orbit’s saturation significantly increasing the risk of collision. Finally, Starlink is not sheltered from competition since the purchase of OneWeb, its main competitor, by British government and Indian group Barthi.
Be that as it may, it is only a beginning for Starlink. Satellite’s constellation is far from being achieved and the firm hopes to bring its service to whole USA and Canada by end of the year. Europe could also get access to Starlink’s services in early 2021, said Elon Musk (SpaceX CEO) in a tweet recently.