The early beta test results of SpaceX’s Starlink that provides global internet coverage from space are out and it looks good. A Reddit user who took the test said on the platform that it recorded a downloading speed of 161 megabits/seconds and uploading speed of 23 megabits/second.
There’s already a buzz about the speed it is providing, although SpaceX’s Starlink Internet Beta program just started rolling out to customers from October 28, 2020. Reddit user FouthEchelon19 said he was able to stream 4K YouTube videos at 1440p without any buffering. There was an occurrence of latency-inducing interruptions, which is speculated to reduce as more of such satellites are launched.
Elon Mask responded to a tweet regarding the latency.
Latency will improve significantly soon. Bandwidth too.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 31, 2020
Many responded on the Reddit post. One of the users Vertigo103 wrote, “Damn… This makes my two 25/2 lines + load balancing equipment a joke at $135 per month. Right now, getting 12 / 0.6mbps. Congratulations on being selected! It’s good to know someone with a lack of good alternatives got invited.”
Another Reddit user said the recorded speed was faster than 95% of the US. The Starlink internet connection plan costs $99 per month for services and $499 for Starlink for ground equipment including hardware like user terminal, Wi-Fi router, and mounting tripod.
The Starlink satellites, which are 550 kilometres above the planet’s surface, are in low-earth orbit with as many as 30,000 satellites that send a signal to orbit before even returning them down to the earth. This helps the company provide higher speed at lower latency.
As of now, the company has launched more than 800 small satellites that will help provide power to the broadband networks. SpaceX has sought permission from the government to launch 42,000 satellites into the orbit to form a mega-constellation around the Earth.
Starlink is aimed at providing high-quality internet network connection to places where internet access is difficult and surpassing the existing traditional satellite internet.