Starlink can serve 500,000 users easily, several million “more of a challenge”

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Screenshot from the SpaceX Starlink pre-order website.
Enlarge / Screenshot from the Starlink order web page, with the road handle blotted out.

SpaceX has acquired greater than 500,000 orders for Starlink broadband service, the corporate stated yesterday.
“‘So far, over half one million individuals have positioned an order or put down a deposit for Starlink,’ SpaceX operations engineer Siva Bharadvaj stated in the course of the launch webcast of its twenty sixth Starlink mission,” CNBC reported.
SpaceX opened preorders for Starlink satellite tv for pc service in February and is serving no less than 10,000 customers in its beta within the US and abroad mixed. The preorders required a $99 deposit for service that may be out there within the second half of this 12 months. The five hundred,000 complete orders presumably embody each US residents and folks in different international locations; we requested SpaceX for extra particulars and can replace this text if we get a response.
A preorder would not assure that you will get service, and slots are restricted in every geographic area due to capability limits. Nonetheless, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated he expects all the preorderers to get service—however stated that SpaceX will face a problem if it will get thousands and thousands of orders.
“Solely limitation is excessive density of customers in city areas,” Musk tweeted yesterday. “Probably, all the preliminary 500k will obtain service. Extra of a problem after we get into the a number of million consumer vary.”
The full price for every Starlink consumer is $499 for {hardware}, $50 for transport and dealing with, and $99 for month-to-month service, plus tax. Preorders are nonetheless open on the Starlink web site.
Commercial

SpaceX prepares for as much as 5 million customers in US
Regardless of Musk’s remark, SpaceX has been laying the groundwork to probably serve as much as 5 million subscribers within the US. SpaceX initially obtained a Federal Communications Fee license to deploy as much as 1 million consumer terminals (i.e. satellite tv for pc dishes) within the US and later requested the FCC to extend the licensed quantity to five million terminals. The applying remains to be pending.
“SpaceX Companies requests this enhance in licensed items because of the extraordinary demand for entry to the Starlink non-geostationary orbit satellite tv for pc system,” the corporate informed the FCC in its license-change request on July 31, 2020. At the moment, practically 700,000 individuals within the US had registered curiosity on Starlink’s web site, however that motion did not require placing down any cash. The five hundred,000 orders and deposits that Starlink has acquired even with out saying precisely when the service will exit beta is a stronger indication of individuals’s curiosity within the satellite tv for pc broadband system, although this quantity probably consists of non-US residents.
Musk has stated that Starlink will probably be out there to “most of Earth” by the top of 2021 and the entire planet by subsequent 12 months. SpaceX can also be planning a brand new model of the “Dishy McFlatface” satellite tv for pc dish for big automobiles, plane, and ships. Musk has stated that the unique model of the dish “ought to be totally cell later this 12 months, so you possibly can transfer it anyplace or apply it to an RV or truck in movement.”

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