In brief: With over 1,900 satellites in orbit, SpaceX is taking the next step with a new Premium tier that promises higher download and upload speeds and includes a larger antenna that should work better in extreme weather conditions. The new tier won't come cheap, but it's flexible and will offer 24/7 prioritized support for users.
This week, SpaceX has quietly introduced a new and pricier tier for its Starlink service called Starlink Premium. The move was revealed on Twitter by none other than SpaceX founder Elon Musk, and it appears the new service tier is primarily targeted at business and enterprise customers who need more bandwidth.
Starlink Premium includes a larger, higher performance antenna and promises download speeds between 150 megabits per second and 500 megabits per second, with a latency of around 20 to 40 milliseconds. For reference, the standard tier promises download speeds between 50 and 250 megabits per second. The Premium tier also doubles the upload speed of the standard tier to anywhere between 20 to 40 megabits per second.
These advantages will come at a significant increase in both upfront and monthly costs. The standard Starlink service costs $99 per month and the hardware costs $499; Premium will set you back $2,500 for the antenna and $500 per month. Those interested in the new tier will be required to make a deposit of $500, which is fully refundable.
A more interesting feature of Starlink Premium is that its users will get access to 24/7 prioritized support. Overall, the new tier looks like a great way for people in remote areas to get access to high speed broadband, and the new dish is supposedly designed for improved performance in extreme weather conditions.
Those interested in Starlink Premium can sign up here, and deliveries are expected to start in Q2 2022. In the meantime, SpaceX has been growing its constellation to over 1,900 satellites in orbit. As of writing, the standard tier has more than 145,000 users across 25 countries, and the company is authorized to have up to 4,408 satellites in orbit.