If you are interested in SpaceX’s Starlink remote broadband internet system, you can now book a connection for yourself. Starlink has started taking pre-orders for beta trials across the world, including several Indian areas. One needs to pay an enrollment fee of $99 (approximately Rs 7,200). Starlink mentions that availability is limited and it will disburse connection on the basis of “first-come-first-serve” basis. Also Read - Elon Musk's Starlink satellite internet service faces challenge to launch in India, DoT begins scrutiny
The Starlink website is accessible in India and you can check compatibility for your area. All you need to do is input your address and check the drop-down list. If your address appears on the list, you can register for the beta service and make a payment of Rs 7,300 to Starlink. The company is yet to announce an expected date of delivery for the equipment. Also Read - Starlink satellite broadband service faces challenge in India, Elon Musk led company questioned
Starlink registrations begin in India
The idea behind Starlink is to provide high-speed internet connectivity in remote and rural areas. Initially, Starlink promises a variance of data speeds between 50Mbps and 150Mbps. This speed is deliverable via a total of 1,000 Starlink satellites already in orbit. Once the number of satellites touches 12,000, SpaceX founder Elon Musk promises average speeds of 300Mbps across most of our planet. Also Read - SpaceX wants to connect Starlink to aircrafts, ships, trucks for internet connectivity on the move
As part of the Starlink membership, the customer will receive all the equipment from the company. This includes the Starlink system (the dish antenna), a Wi-Fi router, power supply, cables, and a mounting tripod. Similar to a DTH TV connection, your Starlink setup will need a clear view of the sky to connect.
During the beta testing, Starlink says that the service may suffer from occasional interruptions and slowdowns. Apart from low speeds ranging from 50-150Mbps, the service could be down occasionally. The latency speeds will range from 20ms to 40ms. Starlink says it aims to reduce the latency over the coming days.
Compared to regular satellites in the orbit, Starlink satellites are 60 times closer to the Earth. Despite the closer proximity, the company says it has worked with astronomers to reduce the satellite brightness. Hence, thousands of Starlink satellites will not affect astronomers and their space observations.
Similar to Starlink, Amazon also wants to jump in the satellite-based broadband service system. The Amazon Kuiper project also wants to offer access to high-speed internet via a constellation of 3,000 low-orbit satellites. However, Amazon’s service is yet to take off.