SpaceX will double the speeds of its satellite internet service, Starlink, in 2021. The news was confirmed by CEO Elon Musk this morning, who told an inquiring fan to expect speeds of around 300 Mb/s later this year. He also promised that the latency of Starlink would drop to around 20 ms, a figure that’s already been noted in current marketing materials.
“During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50 Mb/s to 150 Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system,” a FAQ on the official website reads. “There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.”
“As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically.”
As indicated by paperwork submitted by the aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company in October 2019, SpaceX will be launching an additional 30,000 Starlink satellites on top of the 12,000 that were already approved by the FCC. A public filing made by the company earlier this month has also confirmed the service’s rising popularity.
“Starlink’s performance is not theoretical or experimental,” an excerpt reads. “Over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad are using the service today. While its performance is rapidly accelerating in real time as part of its public beta program, the Starlink network has already successfully demonstrated it can surpass the Commission’s ‘Above Baseline’ and ‘Low Latency’ performance tiers […]”
Speed will double to ~300Mb/s & latency will drop to ~20ms later this year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2021
Most of Earth by end of year, all by next year, then it’s about densifying coverage.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 22, 2021
Important to note that cellular will always have the advantage in dense urban areas.
Satellites are best for low to medium population density areas.