SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says Starlink internet service leaving beta in October
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted Friday that the company’s Starlink satellite internet network will come out of its open beta phase next month. The August date came two months after Musk’s delivery at Mobile World Congress, when he also said he expected the service to “probably have more than 500,000 users within 12 months.”
The Starlink system demands a cluster of approximately 12,000 satellites in low-Earth orbits that will beam continuous broadband Internet service. One terminal costs $499 and there is a $99 monthly fee for the service. It opened its public beta testing in October 2020, and Musk said in August that SpaceX had shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals to users in 14 countries, including a satellite dish and a Wi-Fi router. As the beta ends and more countries are able to gain access to Starlink, that number of 100,000 is likely to rise, though it’s hard to say when it could reach the half-million mark Musk predicted.
Starlink plans to sell the Internet service directly to consumers in rural areas around the world, along with other customers, and is using 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload speeds. However, reviews of the Starlink service have been mixed so far.