SpaceX launches its accessible Internet service in the open sea

Starlink launches its Maritime service, making it possible to use the Internet anywhere in the world, on seas and oceans.

Article updated on July 11, 2022 : that’s it, SpaceX has just announced its Starlink Maritime service. Resistant to water, salt, wind and rocket landing, the service offers, for $5,000 a month (and a payment of $10,000 to acquire the equipment) Internet access at 350 Mbps in download speed. Coverage is currently limited, but the American company plans global coverage, in all seas and oceans, by the first quarter of 2023.

For the price, Starlink delivers two antennas, in order to offer the most efficient service possible on the open sea. The price seems attractive for the service offered because in a case study, SpaceX compares Starlink to the old system (VSAT) used during launching its own rockets. The service offered, for $16,000 per month, 25 Mbps of throughput and a monthly data quota and latency greater than the 50 ms promised by Starlink.

Original article from July 2, 2022 : the FCC, the American telecommunications policeman, has just granted Starlink the right to use its products in motion. This opens the door to the opening of the service on cars, trains, planes, boats, etc.

Starlink, the huge satellite network providing access to the Internet almost anywhere on the globe, should soon evolve, at least in the United States. The firm SpaceX, belonging to Elon Musk, and which manages the service, obtained from the FCC (the equivalent of ARCEP in France) the authorization to connect to the Internet from a moving vehicle, on the band of 12 GHz. Enough to allow Starlink to open up to new uses.

Starlink soon on motorhomes, boats and planes

As the FCC’s decision points out, ” the authorization of a new class of terminals for SpaceX’s stallite system will expand the possibilities of broadcasting in order to meet the demands of users who want a connection while on the move, whether driving an RV through the country, to move cargo from a European port to a US port or while on board a domestic or international flight”.

124 euros per month for the nomad package

Until last May, it was impossible to use the Starlink service away from home. The system was geolocated and blocked on the owner’s address. But that was without counting on the new subscription, called Starlink for motorhomes which allows, as its name suggests, to use the service anywhere in the world, with a single antenna.

It is then necessary to pay 124 euros per month against the 99 euros claimed monthly for the sedentary subscription. But beware, the subscription currently intended for globetrotters does not allow use on the move. It is a question of fixing it on the roof of his motorhome, or on any surface, wherever the service is available.

The constraint is that the mobile user does not have priority on the network compared to traditional users. This could cause flow problems during peak usage. But it is possible to pause the service at any time, when the customer no longer needs it temporarily.

A future offer for Starlink

The new authorization granted by the FCC should allow Starlink to offer a new option to its nomadic customers or transport companies. We then imagine very well an antenna attached to the roof of a motorhome allowing its occupants to access the Internet on the road. Elon Musk clarified on Twitter that the antenna was too large for the roof of a car but a Tesla driver had managed to install it on the roof of the car.

But Elon Musk’s firm could go much further, by offering a commercial service to transport companies. And precisely, according to our colleagues The Verge, SpaceX would have entered into a partnership with Hawaiian Airlines and JSX to offer customers of these airlines access to the Internet more than 10 km in the air. A service that already exists with other operators, but Starlink could well stand out thanks to the performance and coverage of its 2,400 satellites.

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