Starlink has now launched up to 100,000 satellite internet terminals in its ambitious plans to help bring speedy internet to different parts of the world. The company’s CEO Elon Musk revealed this via Twitter where he also made a list of 14 regions where the service is currently available.
“Our license applications are pending in many more countries. Hoping to serve Earth soon!” he said in a follow-up tweet.
Starlink was launched late in 2020 as a beta service that can offer potential testers at the time a chance to be the first set of people to use the service for US$99/month.
The terminal itself isn’t included in the monthly fee: Starlink sells its starter kit with the user terminal or antenna dish, its stand and power supply, as well as a WiFi router for an additional $499, which customers will have to pay upfront. You can see what the terminal looks like in the image above, showing a dish installed on the roof of a school in Chile.
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The service is meant to serve customers in remote locations where internet options are typically limited or even non-existent. And that justifies why customers are willing to pay the upfront cost to have access to the service.
According to CNBC, the company reported having 90,000 users in July, indicating that it signed up 10,000 more customers within just a few weeks.
The way it works is by making use of thousands of small satellites in Earth’s orbit all of which provide an internet connection to its customers. As of now, nearly 1,800 of those satellites have been deployed into space with plans to launch up to 42,000 satellites in the near future.
Continuous global coverage will be possible in the future if all deployed satellites become fully functional according to the company’s president Gwynne Shotwell.