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Musk: Starlink will attain 300Mbps and develop to a lot of the world this 12 months

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Enlarge /. A stack of 60 Starlink satellites was launched in 2019.

Starlink broadband speeds will double to 300 Mbps “later this year,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter yesterday. SpaceX has been advising users to expect speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps since the beta began a few months ago.

Musk also wrote that “latency will drop to ~ 20 ms later this year”. This comes as no surprise given that SpaceX promised 20ms to 40ms latency during beta, saying months ago that “we expect to hit 16ms to 19ms by summer 2021”.

It sounds like the speed and latency improvements come in around the same time that Starlink is transitioning from beta to more general availability. Two weeks ago, Starlink opened pre-orders for services that are expected to be available in the second half of 2021, albeit with limited availability in each region.

Global coverage but low density

Musk wrote in another tweet yesterday that Starlink will be available for “most of the world” by the end of 2021 and for the entire planet by next year. But even then, the number of slots available to users would be limited in each geographic region.

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Musk wrote that “densifying coverage” is the next step after Starlink is technically available around the world. “It’s important to note that cellular communications always have the advantage in densely populated urban areas. Satellites are best for areas with low to medium population density,” he wrote.

This is in line with Musk’s statement last year that Starlink will have limited availability in major cities like Los Angeles “because the bandwidth per cell just isn’t high enough” and that “Starlink will serve the hardest-to-serve customers , which telecommunications companies otherwise find difficult to do with landlines or even with … cell towers. “In the US, Internet users who currently rely on DSL or traditional geostationary satellite services would benefit most from Starlink’s low-orbit satellites.

SpaceX has received preliminary 10 year funding from the Federal Communications Commission of $ 885.51 million to bring Starlink to 642,925 homes and businesses in 35 states. Rival ISPs have tried to block funding, claiming SpaceX cannot deliver the 100Mbps download speeds and 20Mbps uploads required by the FCC program.

SpaceX announced to the FCC that it has over 10,000 users in the US and abroad to date and is already delivering the speeds and “performance of 95 percent of network round-trip latency measurements at or below 31 milliseconds”. In another FCC filing, SpaceX said that Starlink will eventually reach 10 Gbps download speeds.

Starlink recently became available in the UK.

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Steven Gregory