Elon Musk's SpaceX has silently rolled out a new, 'premium' tier of its supposedly game changing internet service, Starlink. As per the company website, this new tier is aimed at business and enterprise customers in the United States, and costs as hefty $500 per month.
The new product was quietly added to the company's website on Tuesday night and costs five times as much as the plan offered to consumers. Per the website, the new tier, Starlink Premium, requires a $500 fully refundable deposit, a $2,500 fee for the antenna and router, and service is $500 per month.
The consumer-facing service, which had launched in October 2020, requires a $99 fully refundable deposit and a $499 hardware fee. It costs $99 per month.
The company claims the premium tier comes with fancier hardware, higher speeds and priority customer support.
“Starlink Premium has more than double the antenna capability of Starlink, delivering faster internet speeds and higher throughput for the highest demand users, including businesses,” the SpaceX website said.
As per the website, the premium service will start rolling out from April to June this year.
According to the website, another key differentiator between the premium and consumer tier is an “unlimited service locations” flexibility. The consumer tier guarantees service at a single service addrerss--like every other Internet Service Provider--but SpaceX claims Starlink Premium is capable of connecting from anywhere.
“Order as many Starlinks as needed and manage all of your service locations, no matter how remote, from a single account,” SpaceX said.
The company claims in the website that Starlink Premium users can expect download speeds of 150-500Mbps, with with latency between 20-40 milliseconds. This is an improvement in the top top part of the download range, as the consumer tier claims speeds between 100 and 200Mbps and a tighter latency range.
Further, SpaceX claims the premium tier antenna “is designed for improved performance in extreme weather conditions”, although the website offers no specifics. The standard Starlink product features a “Snow Melt functionality,” which heats itself to remove snow or ice.
SpaceX continues to advertise Starlink service with unlimited service usage, saying that “at this time there are no data caps”.
AS of January, the company's standard tier has nearly 1.5 lakh users across 25 countries, with with nearly 1,900 satellites in orbit. At the time of this writing, SpaceX is trying to bring Starlink service to India.