In brief: Satellite Internet service Starlink has revealed a new rectangular user terminal kit for users. The kit comes with a smaller and lighter dish that is compatible with new mounting accessories and an IP54-rated WiFi router without a built-in Ethernet port. For now, the new user terminal is limited to United States customers.
During the whole "Better Than Nothing Beta" test that started over a year ago, Starlink users were limited to a 23-inch-wide, 16-pound circular dish that came with a WiFi router and all the necessary cables. That's now changing, as Starlink is getting ready to launch a new dish that changes in shape, size and specifications.
The new rectangular dish is 12 inches wide and 19 inches long and weighs about 9.2 pounds, making it not only much smaller but also lighter, which might come in handy for those trying to mount it in certain areas. This new dish also offers new mounting options that allow users to install it on a side wall, a roof, or even on a pipe or a ground pole.
Besides the dish, the new Starlink hardware kit also comes with a 3x3, MU-MIMO WiFi router with IP54 rating (water resistant), but Starlink claims it's configured for "indoor use." Unlike the older router, the power supply of the new router is integrated within and doesn't have a built-in Ethernet port, but the latter can be solved by acquiring an Ethernet adapter through Starlink's shop.
Like the original user terminal kit, the new one should also be priced at $499, so there's a good chance that Starlink is still selling them at a loss. Starlink president Gwynne Shotwell said the new kits cost less than $1,500, adding that SpaceX "just rolled out a new version that saved about $200 off the cost."
The new user terminal kit is available for "all new orders fulfilled in the United States," but seeing how wait times are being pushed due to increasing demand, it might take some time before customers get their hands on the new dish.
We should also consider that Elon Musk stated Starlink would officially launch in October, marking the end of the "Better Than Nothing Beta" program. The thing is, we're already midway through November and haven't yet seen an announcement of the satellite Internet service.