SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Says Starlink Internet Service Will Exit Beta In October
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX tweeted friday that the company’s Starlink satellite internet network would exit its open beta phase next month. It was two months later than Musk’s August date at Mobile World Congress, when he also said he expected the service to have “maybe more than 500,000 users in 12 months”.
The Starlink system requires a constellation of nearly 12,000 low-earth orbit satellites that will provide continuous high-speed Internet service. A terminal costs $ 499 and there is a monthly charge of $ 99 for the service. It opened its public beta test in October 2020, and Musk said in August that SpaceX had shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals, which include a satellite dish and a Wi-Fi router, to users in 14 countries. As the beta ends and more countries can access Starlink, that 100,000 number is likely to rise, though it’s hard to say when it might hit the half-million Musk predicted. .
Starlink’s Internet service is expected to be sold directly to consumers in rural areas around the world, among other customers, and it offers download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 20 Mbps. However, reviews of the Starlink service so far have been mixed.
It’s also worth noting that Musk tends to be extremely optimistic when setting product release timelines for his companies, as can be seen from Tesla customers who have been expecting so-called “Full Self Driving” software from that company.