SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell.
  • SpaceX could provide global Starlink satellite internet coverage as early as September, its president said.
  • Gwynne Shotwell said SpaceX had launched 1,800 Starlink satellites, enough for global coverage.
  • Shotwell said SpaceX would need regulatory approval in a given country to offer Starlink.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

SpaceX will be able to beam down Starlink satellite internet to the whole world by about September, the company's president, Gwynne Shotwell, said on Tuesday.

"We've successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like [a] September timeframe," Shotwell said in a video conference with Macquarie Group, reported by Reuters.

SpaceX's end goal is to launch around 42,000 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit by mid-2027.

SpaceX needs regulatory approval before operating in a given country, she said.

Starlink currently operates its beta in 11 countries, Shotwell said, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe.

Global coverage of Starlink's service could allow more and more rural and underserved communities to get fast broadband.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in May that more than 500,000 people had placed an order for Starlink or put down a $99 (R1,386) deposit. Starlink currently costs $99 for a monthly subscription and a further $499 (R6,986) for the kit, which includes a tripod, WiFi router, and a terminal to connect to the satellites.

Once the service is rolled out worldwide, users can expect internet speeds of up to 209.17 megabits per second, the fastest speed recorded by a beta test subscriber.

In April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX's request to fly Starlink satellites at a lower orbit, meaning that the company can lower their satellites from 1,100 kilometres to 550 kilometres.


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