Elon Musk’s Starlink to be game changer for telecommunications sector
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been testing the Starlink satellite broadband service which boasts of a speed boost of around 300mbps and latency reduction to around 20ms. Musk confirmed the speed boost in response to a tweet by a user who received the Starlink broadband kit in the United States and shared a screenshot of the service offering them broadband speeds of 130mbps. "Speed will double to ~300Mb/s & latency will drop to ~20ms later this year," he said.
During the beta testing phase, Starlink offered users a broadband speed between 50mbps and 150mbps with the latency expected between 20ms and 40ms, depending on location. In this phase, the Starlink kit included a phased-arrayed satellite dish, a tripod and a Wi-Fi router.
Coverage of the satellite broadband service
SpaceX says that the Starlink satellite broadband service will cover most of the Earth by the end of the year which means that the service could also be expanded in India although there is no confirmed roadmap for the same. SpaceX has already submitted its recommendations to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) last year for introducing satellite broadband in India.
"Most of Earth by end of year, all by next year, then it’s about densifying coverage. Important to note that cellular will always have the advantage in dense urban areas. Satellites are best for low to medium population density areas," tweeted Musk.
Starlink in the United States
In the United States, the company has already garnered a favorable deal that includes $900 million in funding under FCC programs as the company aims to provide internet connectivity to rural areas as well. Through the company’s website about 10,000 people have already pre-registered for the service.
One of the biggest challenges that the company faces is providing internet to rural areas with less population simultaneously remaining economically viable. These areas have often been ignored by traditional internet providers because of the challenges that they pose in terms of location. Starlink will also have to face a highly regulated telecom market in some countries while simultaneously facing the challenges of censorship.