Published on February 6th, 2021 📆 | 8518 Views ⚑0
SpaceX Starlink: Finally makes it to the consumer market
Starlink is a wireless internet concept that plans to remove the slow network speed that is associated with wireless internet providers. The problem with a wireless connection is not profound in the urban areas where network towers and connection availability is abundant. When you move to the less cluttered regions that have limited internet access due to remote geographical locations and the distance from the well-established ISP. Starlink is an ambitious project that strives to bring forth faster wireless internet connectivity to the users, irrespective of their geographical location.
For users unfamiliar with a satellite constellation, Starlink aims to create man-made constellations of LEO satellites that hover closer to the earth’s orbit. This closeness is the primary factor of reducing latency that is associated with the wireless connection. They do need to build equally competent ground stations that help in the maintenance and monitoring of the satellites. Starlink project has actively deployed over 1000 satellites until now and plans to launch even more as the project gains traction. The Starlink device costs 5000 USD as per the latest update and is still in the beta phase of the release.
The box comes with a standard WiFi router with a satellite dish that will automatically establish a connection with the LEO satellites of the Starlink constellation. In a few teaser videos, the package that houses the device is quite a beefy one. It ships with a power brick, a router, a satellite dish, and a simple user guide. Starlink will be super easy to install without any additional costs due to its auto-adjusting dish that can be maneuvered by the application. So an eager customer can just plug it in and start receiving low latency internet in haste.
Self-configuring satellite dishes are the future, I think, as the constellation of the LEO satellites continues to hover over the earth. More number of satellites means fewer adjustments are required to establish a connection. You don’t have to run on the roof every time your router disconnects or the speed drops below admissible range. You would still need a separate carrier connection for cell phones as they operate with LTE or 5G at present, and Starlink does not facilitate that at present. The one time cost and then subsequent billing every month or year is expected to be on par with the current broadband pricing around the globe. The users of the USA, Canada, and neighboring countries may experience a slight economical price, but for developing countries, the investment alone can deter future customers. If the Starlink project is launched at 100 USD per month, it would still be out of the budget of many eager customers. SpaceX has not finalized a price yet, but I think the prices will come down once the service gains a considerable number of consistent users.
The satellite dish does need 24 hours to make precise adjustments and search for obstructions. You can still connect to the internet but cannot experience it in full glory until the waiting period. If you are the lucky ones to receive the beta version of the device, do give us your impressions about it.