SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter yesterday that “later this year”
Musk also wrote: “The waiting time will drop to about 20 milliseconds later this year.” This is not surprising, because SpaceX promised a delay of 20 to 40 milliseconds in the Beta version, and it had been a few months ago. Said: “We expect to reach 16 milliseconds to 19 milliseconds by the summer of 2021.”
It sounds like when Starlink transitions from beta to wider availability, speed and latency improvements will be rolled out at the same time. Two weeks ago, despite the limited availability in each region, Starlink still opened reservations for services scheduled for the second half of 2021.
Global coverage, but low density
Musk wrote in another tweet yesterday that by the end of 2021, Starlink will be available in “most of the earth” regions, and the entire planet will be available next year. But even then, in each geographic area, the number of slots available to users will be limited.
Musk wrote that after Starlink is technically available on the entire planet, the next step is to “enhance coverage.” He wrote: “The important thing is that cellular phones will always have an advantage in densely populated urban areas. Satellites are the best choice for low- and medium-density areas.”
This is consistent with Musk’s statement last year that Starlink’s availability in major cities such as Los Angeles is limited, “because the bandwidth of each unit is not high enough”, and “Starlink will provide service landlines and even telephones for the most difficult customers of telecom operators. It’s a cell phone tower.” In the United States, Internet users who currently must rely on DSL or traditional geostationary satellite services will benefit the most from Starlink’s low earth orbit satellites.
In the past 10 years, SpaceX has temporarily received US$885.1 million in funding from the Federal Communications Commission, bringing Starlink to 642,925 homes and businesses in 35 states. Competitor ISPs have been trying to prevent capital investment, claiming that SpaceX cannot provide the 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload speed required by the FCC plan.
SpaceX told the FCC that so far, it has more than 10,000 users in the United States and abroad, and has provided the required speed, and “completed 95% of the network round-trip delay measurement in 31 milliseconds or less.” . SpaceX stated in another FCC document that Starlink will eventually reach a download speed of 10Gbps.
Starlink recently went public in the UK.