We have come a long way from the era of dial-up internet since broadband internet has provided us with more speed than we could ever ask for in yesteryears. However, this is not the time for complacency, or at least if we believe Elon Musk. Yes, we are talking about Starlink, the revolutionary brainchild of Elon Musk, who is on a mission to make broadband internet future-ready.
So, what is the future of starlink, and how does it align with the vision of Elon Musk? Read on to find the answer and more on starlink future, the current userbase, and beta usage.
“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”Elon Musk, Founder Starlink
The Vision of Elon Musk
Elon Musk is the world’s second-richest man with a net worth of over US$ 190 Billion. He is the founder and CEO of SpaceX or Space Exploration Technologies Corporation.
Starlink took birth from Musk’s conception of rebuilding the internet in space and making broadband internet more accessible to everyday people, irrespective of their ethnicity, location, or income status.
What is Starlink
Starlink is a SpaceX project that aspires to make high-speed satellite internet easily accessible from all nooks and corners of the globe. The company will make this possible through a satellite internet constellation. In other words, they plan to put thousands of tiny ‘Low Earth Orbit’ (LEO) satellites to make broadband internet reach speeds never seen before.
Starlink’s satellite internet constellation currently has more than 1,600 operational satellites and offers broadband internet speed between 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s at a latency between 20ms to 40ms. The project is presently in the beta stage in 14 countries and plans to expand to the whole world by 2021.
How Does The Current Userbase and Beta Usage Look Like?
As of July 2021, Starlink has a user base of over 100,000 users of the beta version. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC)in December 2020 granted federal subsidies worth US$ 885 million to bring the underserved people into the fold of broadband internet. Furthermore, in 2019, Starlink sought permission from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to launch around 30,000 satellites to complete their ambitious mission of the satellite internet constellation. And in April 2021, SpaceX secured FCC approval to launch over 2,800 satellites at the LEO of 580 kilometers.
While in no ambiguous terms, we can state that Starlink is one of the pioneering concepts the world has ever witnessed. It faces tough competition from Amazon (Project Kuiper), Boeing, HughesNet, Telesat, Kepler, OneWeb, etc. Only time will tell how the satellite internet market will look, but the biggest winner will be ‘broadband internet.’