SpaceX's Starlink internet service enters public beta, priced at $99 per month

nanoguy

Posts: 622   +9
Staff member
Something to look forward to: SpaceX says over 700,000 people have expressed interest in its nascent satellite internet services so far. The company has started a public beta test with select users in the US, and expects to rapidly expand to nearly all regions of the world in 2021. If it succeeds, this could become a $1 trillion market as it targets people that are difficult to serve for traditional internet service providers.

Earlier this month, SpaceX announced it had successfully launched an additional 60 satellites, bringing the Starlink constellation total to over 700. The company thinks that's enough to conduct a public beta test of its program to deliver sub-20 ms latency broadband to rural areas around the world.

Last night, the company reached out via email to several people in the US and Canada who expressed their interest in signing up for the service. Over the summer, SpaceX conducted a private beta test of Starlink, and the results of it made it to Reddit where 11 anonymized speed tests performed using Ookla's speedtest.net tool revealed download speeds ranging from 11 Mbps to 60 Mbps and upload speeds ranging from 5 Mbps to 18 Mbps. The best latency achieved was 31 milliseconds when testing against Frontier servers in Los Angeles, California.

The public beta of Starlink -- dubbed -- "Better Than Nothing Beta," will require users to purchase the necessary equipment (user terminal, mounting tripod, and router) for $499 and then pay $99 per month to get active service. Estimated speeds range from 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps, while the typical latency should be around 20 to 40 milliseconds.

The naming is no joke, as SpaceX doesn't expect this service to be useful to people who already have fast cable or fiber broadband at home, which can be much faster and relatively inexpensive. The company says beta testers should also expect to experience brief periods of no connectivity, which is also not ideal. That said, there's no mention of data caps, which has become a major issue for people who are working from home.

Starlink's public beta is accompanied by the release of a mobile app for iOS and Android which guides users through the installation process using augmented reality. This means it's not as straightforward as Elon Musk promised when he said the Starlink kit is a "plug in socket...point at sky" procedure.

SpaceX has high ambitions with Starlink, as it plans to build a massive constellation of almost 12,000 satellites that will dwell in low Earth orbit, beaming down broadband service to people around the world where normal service is slow, unreliable and expensive. To that end, it will also have to build a large number of ground stations and make user terminals more affordable. If it succeeds, the company will open up a market estimated at $1 trillion.

For those of you wondering when you might get a chance to test the new service, SpaceX plans a rapid expansion in the coming months, targeting 2021 for general availability.

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,606   +6,117
Absolutely ridiculous price, requirements, and performance. Just another example of Musk being Musk .....
 

Ean Mogg

Posts: 160   +74
Yeah, "better than nothing" doesn't do it if you can't afford the monthly bill let alone the price of equipment "better than nothing" if you can afford it more likely, in the UK Fast Fibre speeds at 65mbps and equipment for free at a price of £25 even in areas you can't get fibre you can get 4G link by telecoms companies at about the same price,, so what's the incentive??? Elon ...even half price and free equipment will do it but charge it all the the world, just a few months you'll recoup the losses.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PEnnn and Reehahs

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 334   +405
Anyone claiming it’s a ridiculous price is just wrong. Here in a suburban area in California, Internet through Xfinity starts at $50 a month for 25Mbps ($20/month for the first year) and is higher in many areas. Equipment (router + modem) is $100 minimum when I purchased it or higher long term if you choose to lease it from Xfinity.

Now compare it to satellite Internet which is the only option for many individuals living in the country, and it makes real sense to people who have no selection. If you want good Internet speeds (not mediocre) then it can cost $150 a month looking at HughesNet and probably $100 a month with Viasat. And apparently each of these have low data caps of well under 100GB which then throttles you to less than 10Mbps. See satelliteinternet.com for real comparisons.
 
Last edited:

kimo1

Posts: 145   +235
Planned 12 000 more satellites in low Earth orbit? Already now I have difficulties understanding which is a star, which is low orbit junk...
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,627   +520
Considering Verizon wants one of my relatives to pay tens of thousands for the fiber run if he wants better than end of the pipe DSL (signal strength in the street copper is weak enough that it seems to be affected by the weather lol), this would be a steal for them.

My question though is, will cloud/weather attenuation still be a major issue? I mean every time a storm rolls through the aforementioned relative loses their SAT TV, or will starlink's eventual saturation just be able to brute force it with stronger signals?
 

Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 334   +405
My question though is, will cloud/weather attenuation still be a major issue? I mean every time a storm rolls through the aforementioned relative loses their SAT TV, or will starlink's eventual saturation just be able to brute force it with stronger signals?
Hard to tell right now. Seems like the consensus is that rain will cause a large drop in performance, but that the Internet will still work. I would wait until more information becomes available about this. https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/ebyn5c
 
  • Like
Reactions: madboyv1

VariableSpike

Posts: 30   +35
Yeah, "better than nothing" doesn't do it if you can't afford the monthly bill let alone the price of equipment "better than nothing" if you can afford it more likely, in the UK Fast Fibre speeds at 65mbps and equipment for free at a price of £25 even in areas you can't get fibre you can get 4G link by telecoms companies at about the same price,, so what's the incentive??? Elon ...even half price and free equipment will do it but charge it all the the world, just a few months you'll recoup the losses.
I understand your point, but this service is mainly aimed at those in more rural areas (especially in the US) who have to face dog slow ADSL, or even dial up, along with the data caps, so for those people, the higher price most likely is outweighed by Internet that is most likely way better than what they have and enables them to use their Internet properly so they can work from home etc.
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 116   +171
For those that live out in the country and whos only options are satellite internet or 4G, both of which have pretty small data caps, this is a pretty good option. I was able to convince AT&T to give my buddys dad a DSL modem even though their system shows him out of range for service. It works 90% of the time, which is good enough for him. But really slow.

The equipment cost is higher than it should be. But this is a Beta test and really for those that really want to jump onto this service early. Pricing compare to satellite internet is pretty competitive, and performs much better. Price will only go down. Can't wait to see how this service grows.
 

Karlos95

Posts: 131   +50
LOL it is like you USA bubble thinkers think you are the only country in the world I swear sometimes.

I think he was thinking more of I don't FARM LAND or RURAL areas where there is both no cell or direct lines. Or countries like Australia where the gov is corrupt and purposely stuffed the national broadband network so that Murdoch could retain his sat tv power and now that mr murduck has a streaming service they want to roll it out the way it was supposed to be by the other political party. (Yea I got off track there, just hate my gov)

Any way, not even for just rural, I live in a 2 residency place and can't share the internet so right now I have a modem that connects to the phone towers but I much rather Elon's service when it is totally up and running because it will be cheaper and offer more (downloads, speed).

Anyway, any one that opposes this needs to get out of their bubble. Not all places has perfect connections. Come to Australia, if you aren't on the coast, you have no service, or if you go to Africa you have no service at all.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 307   +218
Yeah, "better than nothing" doesn't do it if you can't afford the monthly bill let alone the price of equipment "better than nothing" if you can afford it more likely, in the UK Fast Fibre speeds at 65mbps and equipment for free at a price of £25 even in areas you can't get fibre you can get 4G link by telecoms companies at about the same price,, so what's the incentive??? Elon ...even half price and free equipment will do it but charge it all the the world, just a few months you'll recoup the losses.
he is competing with companies that use one satellite to provide internet, while he has thousands, and ping isn't 200ms but 40ms. And last time I check, even beggars in USA can easily get a $100.
I am sure he knows what's he doing, it took time and money to build this.
 

beardrinksbeer

Posts: 42   +6
LOL it is like you USA bubble thinkers think you are the only country in the world I swear sometimes.

I think he was thinking more of I don't FARM LAND or RURAL areas where there is both no cell or direct lines. Or countries like Australia where the gov is corrupt and purposely stuffed the national broadband network so that Murdoch could retain his sat tv power and now that mr murduck has a streaming service they want to roll it out the way it was supposed to be by the other political party. (Yea I got off track there, just hate my gov)

Any way, not even for just rural, I live in a 2 residency place and can't share the internet so right now I have a modem that connects to the phone towers but I much rather Elon's service when it is totally up and running because it will be cheaper and offer more (downloads, speed).

Anyway, any one that opposes this needs to get out of their bubble. Not all places has perfect connections. Come to Australia, if you aren't on the coast, you have no service, or if you go to Africa you have no service at all.
I am with you. I am in Oz & I also hate ScumO.
And all the Libs that stuffed the NBN should be locked in jail, and for the key to be lost

I am on ADSL2+ & I pay $90/month for it. Or I could go onto skyMuster satelitite, but I just got off satelitite as I was on it for decades and I got sick of the ping, that is why I asked to go onto ADSL, but Helstra hates me, they hate me that much, my download speed ATM is 13Mb/s and I was told is the lowest it can go and I am the closest to the exchange; it is 1100 metres away. I was told by a tech last week I am shaped, that is how much Helstra hates me. But I am tied to them as they are the only one who can get me ADSL; but it took me 2 years of trying to get it. Off to the Ombudsman, again. But I would leave Helstra in a heart beat to join Starlink to get away from Helstra, also I would get better upload & download speeds - woo hoo
 
  • Like
Reactions: Karlos95

Karlos95

Posts: 131   +50
I am with you. I am in Oz & I also hate ScumO.
And all the Libs that stuffed the NBN should be locked in jail, and for the key to be lost

I am on ADSL2+ & I pay $90/month for it. Or I could go onto skyMuster satelitite, but I just got off satelitite as I was on it for decades and I got sick of the ping, that is why I asked to go onto ADSL, but Helstra hates me, they hate me that much, my download speed ATM is 13Mb/s and I was told is the lowest it can go and I am the closest to the exchange; it is 1100 metres away. I was told by a tech last week I am shaped, that is how much Helstra hates me. But I am tied to them as they are the only one who can get me ADSL; but it took me 2 years of trying to get it. Off to the Ombudsman, again. But I would leave Helstra in a heart beat to join Starlink to get away from Helstra, also I would get better upload & download speeds - woo hoo
Yep, so many dumb liberal voters. Pisses me off to be honest. They are all stupid and don't realise the only ones who benefit from them being in power are the damn donors.
Don't get me wrong, Labor is not that great either, but under them we wouldn't have wasted billions on out-dated tech and be in a stronger position financially, but, because murdoch smeared them in the media and saying Libs are better economic managers, everyone believes it and no matter how many friendlyjordies videos I share disproving all that crap, they still won't open their dumb eyes. LOL

Actually infuriating because they think they are doing the right thing except they aren't.

Anyway, this starlink will be awesome, I reckon a good chunk of aussies (rural and even some suburban areas) will cross to Elon's sats just to avoid dealing with our crappy ISPs who cap everything and think they are giving us a good deal SMH.

Any way, hope all is well with my fellow aussie! Been harsh down here the last 18 months. And cannot see the light at the end yet!!
 

beardrinksbeer

Posts: 42   +6
Yep, so many dumb liberal voters. Pisses me off to be honest. They are all stupid and don't realise the only ones who benefit from them being in power are the damn donors.
Don't get me wrong, Labor is not that great either, but under them we wouldn't have wasted billions on out-dated tech and be in a stronger position financially, but, because murdoch smeared them in the media and saying Libs are better economic managers, everyone believes it and no matter how many friendlyjordies videos I share disproving all that crap, they still won't open their dumb eyes. LOL

Actually infuriating because they think they are doing the right thing except they aren't.

Anyway, this starlink will be awesome, I reckon a good chunk of aussies (rural and even some suburban areas) will cross to Elon's sats just to avoid dealing with our crappy ISPs who cap everything and think they are giving us a good deal SMH.

Any way, hope all is well with my fellow aussie! Been harsh down here the last 18 months. And cannot see the light at the end yet!!
Cooee
If I had not just bought a place here in Tassie,
I was seriously thinking of moving to the Land of the Long White Cloud.
But I was told even over there, PC is out of control, so you can't win wherever you go; maybe I should of stayed in the bush; too late now, oh well.

At least the Libs could not stuff up skyMuster, it was not through lack of trying. The Rabbit said we did not need it, the Optus one will do us. The NBN would be in a right royal mess without skyMuster. What would they do if they could not put all those people in the city on satelitie? They would have to give them fibre I suppose, I doubt it, they bought all that copper line. I bet the Libs did not even use all the copper line they bought, so more waste. They would of have to buy batteries for the nodes every decade anyway, what a waste; and a pollution nightmare

I just read now that the Starlink has an error rate of 0.2%, not bad indeed eh.
I , and it looks like you, will be the first 2 Aussies to be in line when it comes out next year, so not too long to wait.

Talking about lines. Origin is on tonight. Carn the Cockroaches

At least we did our bit & voted OK. Everytime someone complains about their internet. I just ask them, "Who did you vote for? You got what you voted for you drogo"

have a good one.
 

Karlos95

Posts: 131   +50
Cooee
If I had not just bought a place here in Tassie,
I was seriously thinking of moving to the Land of the Long White Cloud.
But I was told even over there, PC is out of control, so you can't win wherever you go; maybe I should of stayed in the bush; too late now, oh well.

At least the Libs could not stuff up skyMuster, it was not through lack of trying. The Rabbit said we did not need it, the Optus one will do us. The NBN would be in a right royal mess without skyMuster. What would they do if they could not put all those people in the city on satelitie? They would have to give them fibre I suppose, I doubt it, they bought all that copper line. I bet the Libs did not even use all the copper line they bought, so more waste. They would of have to buy batteries for the nodes every decade anyway, what a waste; and a pollution nightmare

I just read now that the Starlink has an error rate of 0.2%, not bad indeed eh.
I , and it looks like you, will be the first 2 Aussies to be in line when it comes out next year, so not too long to wait.

Talking about lines. Origin is on tonight. Carn the Cockroaches

At least we did our bit & voted OK. Everytime someone complains about their internet. I just ask them, "Who did you vote for? You got what you voted for you drogo"

have a good one.
So refreshing hearing a like minded Aussie! Feel like the loud liberal voters are everywhere LOL

Yep, was an understatement to say NBN was a disaster.

0.2% in the early days!!! that is pretty outstanding! remember when NBN first started, would have been worse than that and still has it's complications.
Elon, like everything he does, learns from the mistakes and makes it better. So we can only imagine it becomes even better once more people come on, test it, and revise it. I will be on it for sure! Hopefully have enough money to start off the grid living so less money goes to the gov lol.

Up the Roaches!!

I'll use that next time, thank you! Unfortunately most of my family and family friends voted badly. Lucky I have friends that think the same otherwise I'd go insane not having that bit rational thinking haha.

Cheers, you too!
 
  • Like
Reactions: beardrinksbeer

beardrinksbeer

Posts: 42   +6
So refreshing hearing a like minded Aussie! Feel like the loud liberal voters are everywhere LOL

Yep, was an understatement to say NBN was a disaster.

0.2% in the early days!!! that is pretty outstanding! remember when NBN first started, would have been worse than that and still has it's complications.
Elon, like everything he does, learns from the mistakes and makes it better. So we can only imagine it becomes even better once more people come on, test it, and revise it. I will be on it for sure! Hopefully have enough money to start off the grid living so less money goes to the gov lol.

Up the Roaches!!

I'll use that next time, thank you! Unfortunately most of my family and family friends voted badly. Lucky I have friends that think the same otherwise I'd go insane not having that bit rational thinking haha.

Cheers, you too!
Have a good one watching it tonight and keep watching the skies for them little satellites to get more & to wreck our view of the night sky; at least we will have grouse internet since the Libs fvcked it right up with the NBN
take care m8 :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Karlos95
I want to know if the antenna will have to be fixed, or if I can install it on my motor home; I park 15 to 20 days at each location