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Monday, November 23, 2020

Starlink Internet Speed – Will it be a star performer in Internet speed domain

According to Ookla Speedtest Intelligence’s data from PCMag analysis, the average speed is up to 70 megabits down. This figure was the result of the first tests from SpaceX’s Starlink Internet project. 

Starlink High-Speed Internet

starlink ultra-fast broadband internet speedAs part of SpaceX’s plan to make available to more than 6 million homes the facility of broadband connection, in accordance to RDOF or Rural Digital Opportunity Fund amounting up to $16 billion extended by Federal Communication Commission. The Starlink Internet speed that SpaceX is planning to offer to homes and business entities is of at least 25Mbps. 

As a part of the presentation, the company exhibited download speeds between 102Mbps and 103Mbps, with upload speeds ranging between 40.5Mbps and 42Mbps. As per the internet performance test, the latency was between 18 milliseconds and 19 milliseconds.

spacex starlink - high speed satellite internet constellationThese figures that were obtained as part of the Elon Musk Starlink Internet Speed performance test, it is way better than the satellite internet conventional services generally used, one that you can compare to the “low-end cable internet” service. 

SpaceX’s “Linux-powered Starlink satellites” are currently functioning in beta. Presently, there are about 775 Starlink satellites in orbit. However, this figure is short of what the company had set as an initial goal of 12,000 satellites. 

The company expects to launch about 30,000 Starlink satellites since it has applied to the FCC. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and CEO, stated that for “moderate” coverage, as many as 800 Starlink satellites will be required. For “minor” coverage as many as 400 Starlink satellites will be required. 

Starlink Internet Speed and Cost

spacex starlink internet speedFor the “low earth orbit” satellite systems, lower latency is an advantage. Many satellites of Starlink orbit at a distance of 340 miles from the earth. This is in sharp contrast to the HughesNet and Exede satellites that orbit at a distance of 22,000 miles from the earth. As such, for a signal to traverse that far takes some time and more time in comparison to the satellites that are orbiting at a distance of 340 miles from the earth. 

The cost of satellite internet service is $99 per month in Starlink’s beta phase. Also, $499 for Wi-Fi routers and satellite dishes. Presently Starlink has joined hands with Viasat’s Exede and HughesNet operating as a service provider for the rural users that do not have access to fibre and cables.

The speeds of Starlink satellites are “a huge jump” as compared to the speed of the satellite systems that are existing. The Speedtest Intelligence test of October 2020 reveals HughesNet speed had an average of 19.84Mbps down. And Viasat’s Exede system speed was down by 24.75Mbps. 

The upload speed differences are equally “stark”. As of September, the HughesNet average was 2.64Mbps. In the case of Exede, the average was 3.25Mbps. 

However, when it comes to speed, SpaceX’s Starlink far exceeds the speeds of the above service providers. The main advantage of Starlink as mentioned above is essentially latency as explained above.

Related Article: AI Artificial Intelligence- Benefits and Risks

Kiara Dutta
Kiara Dutta comes from an Engineering background, with a specialization in Information Technology. She has a keen interest and expertise in Web Development, Data Analytics, and Research. She trusts in the process of growth through knowledge and hard work.

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