The president of Starlink, Gwynne Shotwel said on Tuesday that it expects that will be able to provide continuous internet coverage globally by September this year but the company will then require to obtain regulatory approvals to continue to offer its services. Starlink is the satellite internet unit of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.
“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 September timeframe,” she told a Macquarie Group technology conference via webcast. “But then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms services,” Shotwel added.
Shotwel said that Starlink currently offers beta services in 11 countries and that the company company has plans of deploying more than 12,000 satellites in total in Earth’s orbit at a cost of about $10 billion.
More than 500,000 pre-orders for its internet service have already been received by the low-Earth orbiting satellite network, Musk had said in May this year and had added that he anticipated that there would be no technical problems for the company in meeting the growing demand for internet and data.
“To date, over half a million people have placed an order or put down a deposit for Starlink,” Siva Bharadvaj, a SpaceX space operations engineer, had also said during that time at a broadcast of SpaceX’s latest launch of Starlink satellites — 26th Starlink mission. “With every launch, we get closer to connecting more people across the world.”
Prior to that in a filing with federal regulators, SpaceX had disclosed that Starlink had “over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad” as of February this year. At that time Musk had also noted that Starlink would be “probably out of beta this summer.”
SpaceX’s plan to deploy some Starlink satellites at a lower earth orbit than the company had planned initially was approved earlier this year by the United States Federal Communications Commission. According to the company the lower earth orbit satellites will help the company to provide high speed broadband internet services to people currently do not have any access to such services.
Apart from Starlink, there is a growing number of other firms that are engaged in making small satellites and that list also includes the likes of Amazon.com’s Kuiper, Britain’s OneWeb, venture capital-backed Planet, and Raytheon Technologies Corp’s Blue Canyon Technologies.
(Adapted from USNews.com)