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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday October 24 2019, @11:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the skynet-is-here dept.

SpaceX's Starlink division is on track to offer satellite-broadband service in the United States in mid-2020, a company official said today. Meanwhile, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk posted two tweets that show he's testing the broadband service.

"Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite," Musk wrote. Two minutes later, Musk sent a followup tweet that said, "Whoa, it worked!!"
[...]
SpaceX launched 60 satellites in May this year to test the system before preparing for a wider deployment. The company has FCC permission to deploy up to 11,943 satellites and is seeking permission to launch as many as 30,000 more.
[...]
"We need 24 launches to get global coverage," Shotwell said. "Every launch after that gives you more capacity." SpaceX previously said it could make 24 Starlink launches in 2020.
[...]
While SpaceX has said it intends to provide gigabit speeds and latency as low as 25ms, a big unanswered question is how much it will cost. SpaceX is apparently still trying to figure that out.

"Shotwell said millions of people in the US pay $80 per month to get 'crappy service,'" SpaceNews reported. "She didn't say whether Starlink will cost more or less than $80 per month but suggested that would be a segment of the public the company would target as well as rural areas that currently have no connectivity."
[...]
There are some other interesting tidbits in the SpaceNews article. SpaceX wants to offer Starlink both to home Internet users and the US government, and the company is already testing with the US Air Force Research Laboratory. "So far, SpaceX has demonstrated data throughput of 610Mbps per second in flight to the cockpit of a US military C-12 twin-engine turboprop aircraft," the SpaceNews article said.

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/10/elon-musk-sends-tweet-via-spacexs-starlink-satellite-broadband/
https://spacenews.com/spacex-plans-to-start-offering-starlink-broadband-services-in-2020/


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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Thursday October 24 2019, @12:50PM

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday October 24 2019, @12:50PM (#911189) Journal

    That's a good point. One way or another you should be able to get it within the next few years. If not from Starlink, then maybe OneWeb or Amazon/Blue Origin.

    I didn't sub this one because they said they were already testing Starlink by playing some online game, back when they launched Tintin A and B. Yup, here it is:

    https://www.inverse.com/article/50380-spacex-test-internet-satellites-video-games-youtube [inverse.com]

    Indeed, SpaceX engineers have used the connectivity provided by the spacecraft — dubbed Tintin A and B — watch high-resolution videos and play online video games, which all seems surprisingly chill for the fast-paced workplace. Based on these early successes, the company goal told Reuters [reuters.com] it is “pretty much on target” to begin providing service by 2020 with initial launches beginning in mid-2019.

    “[Tintin A and B are] happy and healthy and we’re talking with them every time they pass a ground station, dozens of times a day,” an unnamed SpaceX employee told the publication. “We were streaming 4k YouTube and playing ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ from Hawthorne to Redmond in the first week.”

    The cool part is that they may test Starships by repeatedly launching Starlink. Which means much cheaper launch costs than burning up Falcon 9 upper stages, and it would build confidence in Starship. Satellite (flatsat) costs may be an issue, but they say they only need a fraction of the planned constellation to begin offering service. If the cost ends up at $100,000 per satellite, that's $5 billion for 50,000, which is not terrible if they are generating revenue.

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