Spaces’ internet service named Starlink went on to test its beta service that is Starlink’s Beta Test. The Starlink’s Beta test, dubbed as “Better than nothing Beta,” kicked off last week, and the results are now coming in. The Starlink service currently costs $99 a month with a $499 startup fee for the user terminal, a tripod, and a Wi-Fi router.
Starlink had already told it’s early internet beta testers to look up for internet speeds ranging from 50Mbps to 150Mbps with latency from 20ms to 40ms. The testers were also told that there could be no connectivity at moments since they will add more inputs to their systems. The service is possible in a range between 44º and 52º degrees north latitude, while the beta is initially targeting rural residents in select regions of the northern US and southern Canada.
Looking at internet speed, a Redditor named FourthEchelon19 shared pictures of the company’s hardware and corresponding speed on Ookla’s speedtest.net. Over the weekend, this user shared a picture of the user terminal dish and tripod and detailed some of their early experiences with SpaceX’s low-Earth orbit satellite broadband service, delivered from nearly 800 satellites. He mentioned a typical result on Speedtest.net of 134Mbps download speeds and 14.8Mbps upload speeds with a latency of 34ms.
Although this doesn’t line up with Elon Musk’s claims that Starlink will provide higher speeds and low latency broadband internet in the rural areas of the US that being provided by other ISPs.
FourthEchelon19 also reported experiencing a “couple of interruptions, probably from satellite transitions, but almost 100% steady since initial setup” and that it’d been “streaming 1,440p and 4K with zero buffering on YouTube”. The interruptions last about 10 to 15 seconds and happen every few minutes.
In the invite to public beta testers, Starlink said that by the summer of 2021, the service would achieve a latency of between 16ms and 19ms, but that would be after it launches more satellites and installs more ground stations, and improves its networking software.
Responding to the Reddit post as it was shared on Twitter, Musk said Starlink’s latency and bandwidth would improve “significantly soon”.
As stated by Elon Musk during a public event, Starlink’s beta test purpose was to provide better transportation systems. The processing of navigation systems can be speeded up if we boost up the speed of the network they are running on; this was Starlink’s purpose of providing high-speed wireless bandwidth in the US’s remote areas.
“Will Starlink dishes be deployable on high-speed moving objects like trains?” Kanerva asked Musk on Twitter. “It would be incredible if trains moving through the middle of nowhere finally could have stable high-speed internet connections.”
Starlink for rail networks would be no problem, according to Musk. “Yes. Everything is slow to a phased array antenna,” he replied.
The biggest challenge posed to Spacex is reducing the cost of end-user units; despite growing concerns, Elon Musk has not yet disclosed the price of the end-user units, which will play a significant role in governing the sales of the Starlink network.
The latest Falcon 9 launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida comes just two weeks after the last batch of 60 Starlink satellites and now brings SpaceX’s Starlink constellation to 788 as the company gears up for a public beta of the satellite broadband service. It was the 13th Starlink launch.
The Starlink service currently costs $99 a month with a $499 startup fee for the user terminal, a tripod, and a Wi-Fi router.