Elon Musk Starlink Internet Beta to Move out of Beta
(Photo : Youtube/ SpaceX) SpaceX Starlink mission

In the next couple of months, SpaceX could have more than 1,600 of its Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit, and that may be enough for the nascent broadband service to reach just almost anywhere in the world.

SpaceX sends Starlink satellites

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell stated on Apr. 6 during an online panel discussion for the Satellite 2021 LEO Digital Forum that after 28 launches, they will have continuous coverage throughout the globe.

The 23rd operational Starlink launch is set for Apr. 7. That means that SpaceX is a half a dozen launches away from the point Shotwell describes.

SpaceX has already successfully conducted seven dedicated Starlink launches in 2021, along with 10 more of the satellites on the Transporter-1 rideshare, according to CNBC.

Also Read: SpaceX's Starlink Study: Over 50% of Web Users in the US Ready to Switch to Elon Musk's Internet Satellite

The pace of launches looks to be slower in April, but the company should easily reach 28 launches in a matter of months.

That would be more an optimistic timeline than what founder Elon Musk predicted in February when he stated the aim was coverage for most of Earth by the end of year, all by next year, as posted on his Twitter account.

Shotwell then added that as soon as SpaceX has enough Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit to reach anywhere on the planet, future launches will become about adding satellites to increase the network's capacity.

Shotwell also made the bold prediction that Starlink will be able to serve every rural household in the United States within three to five years.

Since October, starlink has been in a beta test, slowly expanding to more countries and regions around the world.

Shotwell did not reveal any specifics about how long the trial period will last, stating that the company is currently working to increase reliability and reduce connectivity drop-outs. She said that Starlink will move out of beta when they have a really great product that they are proud of.

Shotwell also stated that SpaceX has no plans for tiered pricing for Starlink. She did not say if the beta test rate of $99 a month will remain but did note that the cost of the terminal is expected to come down substantially over the next couple of years.

SpaceX has stated that it costs the company around $1,500 to make each user terminal, but beta testers are only asked to pay $499.

Shotwell stated that cost should come all the way down to just a few hundred dollars per terminal, which could reduce the upfront investment to sign up for the service.

Starlink service

Last year, SpaceX began rolling out early Starlink service in a public beta that now extends to customers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and New Zealand.

SpaceX has continued to expand Starlink's service, with the public beta gaining more than 10,000 users in its first 3 months, according to Florida Today.

Shotwell noted that SpaceX does not have a timeframe for getting out of the beta phase, saying that the company still has a lot of work to do the network reliability.

For now, SpaceX is focused on serving customers in rural and other hard-to-reach areas, with Shotwell saying that Starlink will be able to serve every rural household in the United States or around 60 million people.

Related Article: SpaceX's Starlink to Launch Satellite Internet Service in the Philippines, a Country With One of the World's Worst Internet Connections

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Sieeka Khan

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.