SpaceX is rolling out its Starlink 'Better Than Nothing Beta' service

SpaceX’s Starlink ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ service costs $600 upfront and tells customers they may have periods of no connection

  •  SpaceX is gearing up to unleash its ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ internet
  • Customers received an email with details about the service and pricing 
  • The monthly fee is $99 and the Starlink Kit costs $499, all of which needs to be paid upfront in order to use the new internet
  • However, the email also says there may be periods with no connection at all 

It has been more than one year in the making, but SpaceX is finally gearing up to unleash its Starlink internet to the world.

An email sent to those who pre-signed up has surfaced online, revealing details of the ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ test.

Customers will have to pay nearly $600 upfront to receive access, which includes the $99 monthly fee plus $499 to order the Starlink Kit that includes the ‘UFO on a stick’ terminal, mounting tripod and WiFi router.

The email, which states it is ‘trying to lower your initial expectations,’ shows the service has data speeds varying from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms – but warns there may be ‘be brief periods of no connectivity at all.’

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It has been more than one year in the making, but SpaceX is finally gearing up to unleash its Starlink internet to the world. An email sent to those who pre-signed up has surfaced online, revealing details of the ‘Better Than Nothing Beta’ test

SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 Starlink satellites on May 23, 2019 and today, the constellation includes 835 devices.

It plans to launch at least 2,200 satellites over the next five years in order to offer a global broadband service covering even the most remote areas of the world.

The public received invites in June to use the public service and the email marks the launch of the beta service dubbed ‘Better Than Nothing Beta.’

‘As we launch more satellite, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically,’ reads the email.

The service includes a companion app that displays connection and other details of the service

Customers will have to pay nearly $600 upfront to receive access, which includes the $99 monthly fee plus $499 to order the Starlink Kit that includes the ‘UFO on a stick’ terminal (pictured), mounting tripod and WiFi router

SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 Starlink satellites on May 23, 2019 and today, the constellation includes 835 devices. It plans to launch at least 2,200 satellites over the next five years. Pictured is a Starlink launch that took place on Oct. 6

However, once SpaceX makes these improvements, customers can expect 16ms to 19ms by summer of 2021.’

At the end of the invite is text that reads: ‘If this sounds good to you, then order here.’

CEO Elon Musk had previously stated that SpaceX could rollout a beta service once it had about 800 satellites floating in low orbit.

Earlier this month, the firm provided access to the space internet to first responders battling wildfires in Washington state.

However, once SpaceX makes improvements, customers can expect 16ms to 19ms by summer of 2021′

Officials said the satellites doubled the bandwidth and produced more than 150 percent decrease in latency.

Richard Hall, the emergency telecommunications leader of the Washington State Military Department’s IT division, told CNBC: ‘I have never set up any tactical satellite equipment that has been as quick to set up, and anywhere near as reliable.’

He also shared that Starlink doubles the bandwidth compared to traditional internet satellites and there is more than 150 percent decreases in latency.

Traditional services can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to establish a connection, but Hall told CNBC that Starlink was working in just 10 minutes.

ELON MUSK’S SPACEX SET TO BRING BROADBAND INTERNET TO THE WORLD WITH ITS STARLINK CONSTELLATION OF SATELLITES

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched the fifth batch of its ‘Starlink’ space internet satellites – taking the total to 300.

They form a constellation of thousands of satellites, designed to provide low-cost broadband internet service from low Earth orbit.

The constellation, informally known as Starlink, and under development at SpaceX’s facilities in Redmond, Washington.

Its goal is to beam superfast internet into your home from space.

While satellite internet has been around for a while, it has suffered from high latency and unreliable connections.

Starlink is different. SpaceX says putting a ‘constellation’ of satellites in low earth orbit would provide high-speed, cable-like internet all over the world.

The billionaire’s company wants to create the global system to help it generate more cash.

Musk has previously said the venture could give three billion people who currently do not have access to the internet a cheap way of getting online.

It could also help fund a future city on Mars.

Helping humanity reach the red planet is one of Musk’s long-stated aims and was what inspired him to start SpaceX.

The company recently filed plans with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 4,425 satellites into orbit above the Earth – three times as many that are currently in operation.

‘Once fully deployed, the SpaceX system will pass over virtually all parts of the Earth’s surface and therefore, in principle, have the ability to provide ubiquitous global service,’ the firm said.

‘Every point on the Earth’s surface will see, at all times, a SpaceX satellite.’

The network will provide internet access to the US and the rest of the world, it added.

It is expected to take more than five years and $9.8 billion (£7.1bn) of investment, although satellite internet has proved an expensive market in the past and analysts expect the final bill will be higher.

Musk compared the project to ‘rebuilding the internet in space’, as it would reduce reliance on the existing network of undersea fibre-optic cables which criss-cross the planet.

In the US, the FCC welcomed the scheme as a way to provide internet connections to more people.

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