starlink terminal

The satellite internet company backed by Elon Musk – Starlink – has reportedly amassed 1 million users across the globe according to a tweet published by the billionaire entrepreneur yesterday.


This is the latest major milestone achieved by the company whose vision is to provide global internet coverage through easy-to-install antennas. The price of the hardware required to enjoy Starlink’s service stands at $599 while the monthly subscription cost is $110 in most locations.

In August, Royal Caribbean announced that it will be relying on Starlink’s internet service to provide access to passengers who use their large fleet of cruise ships.

Starlink’s satellites are sent to space every month in collaboration with its parent company – SpaceX. Around 2,700 Starlink satellites are currently in orbit according to a website called BroadBandNow, providing coverage to 36 countries.

Some of the most relevant benefits of Starlink’s internet service are no hidden fees, no contract has to be signed, and the device required can be easily installed by following the instructions provided in the package.

Musk’s Starlink is a project that seeks to provide connectivity to rural areas across the world. Even though the monthly subscription cost is still rather high for households in low-income countries, the firm plans to lower it progressively as its keeps deploying more and more satellites and increasing its user base.

Starlink may also be a solution for internet users whose domestic regulations either prevent them or block them from accessing certain solutions as its satellite-powered infrastructure does not require a license from local authorities to operate.

Recently, Starlink provided coverage to Iranian users as they were suffering from internet outages in an effort from the government to prevent locals from sharing content concerning a wave of protests that erupted in the country.

The next obstacle for Iranians would be to secure a Starlink antenna to be able to access the service. It is conceivable that the government will block the import of these devices to prevent people from accessing a service that they cannot control.

Starlink also sent 15,000 Starlink terminals to the Ukrainian government to help locals and government authorities in accessing the internet during the Russian invasion.

In March 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), approved a license for Musk’s company to deploy 1 million Starlink devices in US territory for the next 15 years. The devices were described as a “UFO on a stick” and they come with an automated mechanism that moves the antenna periodically to improve the signal.

The setup instructions, Musk added, consisted of two steps: plug in the device and point to the sky. Starlink’s goal is to launch as many as 12,000 satellites within the next few years with the assistance of SpaceX.

Also read: Elon Musk Writes About a Life-Enhancing Future for China’s Chief Censor

Musk claims that his goal is to provide connectivity to underserved households in the US. These families account for roughly 3% to 4% of the 120 million households in the country which means that Musk’s company would have to increase its capacity to nearly 5 million to achieve this goal.

Currently, Starlink provides coverage to 49 states of the US with top-served areas including Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Portland.

Starlink has promoted the use of its plug-and-play devices for recreational vehicles (RVs) and sea vessels that need a reliable internet connection to perform their day-to-day operations.

Subscription costs start at $110 for residential users and go up to $5,000 for maritime user accounts. Connection speeds range from 250 to 350 Mbps. Starlink plans to increase speeds progressively until reaching 10Gbps but it is in the process of developing the kind of laser technology required to achieve this goal.

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