SpaceX’s satellite internet service Starlink is now obtainable in 32 countries worldwide, the company has announced. Elon Musk’s space company states it’ll ship “immediately,” contrary to earlier cases that caused customers to wait months to obtain their dishes.
Starlink transferred a screenshot on Twitter revealing the service’s availability map, which displays the service as “available” across most Europe and North America and parts of South America, Australia, and New Zealand.
In addition, much of the rest of the world, including the entire continent of Africa, is shown as “Coming Soon,” with availability expected at various points in 2023.
32 represents an increase in the number of countries Starlink serves compared to earlier this year when SpaceX said it was available in just 25. But more notable is the number of countries where SpaceX is claiming to now be shipping its dishes to customers immediately — the service’s subreddit is filled with stories of customers having to wait months for their orders to be fulfilled.
In April, Rest of the World reported that most Starlink users are based in North America, with much of the remainder based in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.
For our first-hand impressions of what the service is like to use in practice, check out our review from May last year. After a price increase that came into force in March, new Starlink orders now cost $599 upfront for its starter kit, with a monthly service charge of $110 to receive internet service.
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Starlink, a satellite internet constellation, is operated by SpaceX. It supplies satellite Internet access coverage to 32 nations where its use has been licensed and strives for global coverage. As of May 2022, Starlink consists of around 2,200 mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO), corresponding with designated earth transceivers.
The SpaceX satellite development facility at Redmond, Washington, accommodates the Starlink development, manufacturing, research, and Orbit control teams. The cost of the decade-long project to format, build, and deploy the constellation was evaluated by SpaceX in May 2018 to be US$10 billion.
In February 2017, documents indicated that SpaceX expects more than $30 billion in revenue by 2025 from its satellite constellation, while revenues from its launch business were expected to reach $5 billion in the same year.
On 15 October 2019, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offered filings to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on SpaceX’s behalf to negotiate a spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites to augment the 12,000 Starlink satellites already authorized by the FCC.
Astronomers have expanded concerns about the constellations’ impact on ground-based astronomy and how the satellites will add to an already congested orbital environment. SpaceX has attempted to mitigate astronomy matters by implementing several upgrades to Starlink satellites to reduce their brightness during function.
The satellites are fitted with krypton-fueled Hall thrusters, allowing them to de-orbit at the end of their lives. Additionally, the satellites are designed to avoid collisions based on uplinked tracking data autonomously.