SpaceX has shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals so far, and is now serving 14 countries with license applications pending in others, Elon Musk tweeted Monday. As of July, SpaceX reported it had about 90,000 customers using Starlink services for internet access.
The SpaceX CEO’s tweets suggest that the company has added 10,000 subscribers in about three weeks.
Starlink satellites an initiative by SpaceX, which are 60 times closer to the Earth than traditional satellites resulting in high-speed internet access, even from the remotest corners of the world.
Starlink’s goals are to create a network of thousands of satellites called a constellation in the space industry to offer unmatched speeds and services that are simply not possible with traditional internet services.
Starlink uses SpaceX’s experience of building rockets to deploy what they call “the world’s most advanced broadband internet system.”
After launching its first satellite in 2019, Starlink rolled out a program at the end of 2020 that allowed customers to access the internet via their satellites for $99/month.
This trial price did not include shipping costs, taxes, equipment like roof mounts and installation fees.
If a customer chooses Starlink today, they would have to pay $499 upfront, which includes the cost of a starter kit. A satellite antenna dish (user terminal), mounting stand, power supply and WiFi router are part of this kit.
SpaceX has indicated that it has plans to provide internet for ships, moving trucks and also be part of in-flight internet.
SpaceX’s capital-intensive undertaking of launching satellites to space for the purpose of providing internet was estimated to cost the company $10 billion.
SpaceX has so far launched 1740 satellites as part of the Starlink Constellation but it has plans to launch 30,000 more as part of their Gen2 Starlink system. For this, the company submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission on August 18 in which they proposed using their Starship heavy-lift rocket for launching satellites.
“SpaceX has found ways to leverage the advanced capabilities of its new launch vehicle, Starship, that has increased capacity to deliver more mass to orbit quickly and efficiently and, combined with reuse capability of the upper stage, launch more often,” said an amended application filed by SpaceX.
Gwyne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX said in February 2020 that Starlink may have a separate IPO in the future.