Elon Musk says ‘several thousand’ more Starlink internet beta invitations will be sent out this week in the US
SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk said Monday that “several thousand” more invitations for the company’s Starlink internet public beta will be sent out in the coming days, and that the scheme could expand to Europe early next year.
The Starlink service beams internet down to Earth from a network of 900 satellites — the public beta launched on October 26, and some users are already reporting blistering speeds of more than 160 megabits per second (Mbps).
“Several thousand more Starlink beta participation invitations going out this week,” Musk posted on Twitter Monday evening.
Several thousand more Starlink beta participation invitations going out this week
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2020
SpaceX has started testing the service in the northern US and southern Canada, where SpaceX has better satellite coverage.
In follow-up tweets, Musk indicated when other locations would get Starlink internet.
He said European countries will get access as soon “as the company get country approval,” which he estimated would start in February or March.
“This is required for each country individually, as no EU-wide approval system exists. Probably start receiving final (there are many steps) approvals around Feb/March,” he said.
Florida could get the public beta in January, he said, adding that “lower latitude states need more satellites in position.”
India can expect connectivity in mid-2021, “as soon as we get regulatory approval,” Musk replied to another user.
The company has not said how many people are taking part in the beta, but in June, it said nearly 700,000 people across the US had expressed interest, per CNBC.
SpaceX sent an email on October 26 to an unspecified number of people who showed interest in signing up for the service on the Starlink website. The email said users should expect speeds of between 50 and 150 Mbps.
The aerospace manufacturer is charging $99 a month for a subscription, plus $499 upfront for a kit with a tripod, a WiFi router, and a terminal to connect to the Starlink satellites.
Musk’s firm has nearly 900 Starlink satellites in orbit. It wants to launch around 12,000 Starlink satellites by mid-2027, though this could reach up to 42,000. Its ultimate goal is to beam high-speed internet around the world.