Elon Musk announces that Starlink will end its public beta period in October 2021. It started a year ago.
Starlink is preparing to close the parenthesis of its public beta in the coming weeks. A published message on Twitter on September 17 by Elon Musk warns that its satellite Internet access service will come out of this phase and will be considered fully operational, at least in areas where it is already activated – such as in mainland France, one of the rare territories supported.
The switch announced by Elon Musk will occur in October 2021. Access to the public beta of Starlink will have lasted one year: this program indeed started in October of last year, first in the States. United, then to other regions in the months that followed – such as the United Kingdom and Canada in January 2021 and in France thereafter. Previously, a closed beta had taken place.
In a Frequently Asked Questions, Starlink states that it does not have any data usage limits during beta. In terms of experience, the data transmission speeds are advertised between 50 Mbit / s and 150 Mbit / s, while the latency times vary between 20 and 40 milliseconds. One-off signal interruptions can occur, with loss of connectivity.
In the space of a year, Starlink has significantly expanded its constellation of satellites, deploying more than a thousand craft in orbit around the Earth. The coverage of the territory and the flows have also increased over time. The company has also extended its activities internationally: fourteen countries are served and in August Elon Musk claimed to have already won over 100,000 customers.
Different maps exist to provide the approximate position of the satellites in space, as well as the ground relays – there are for example three in place in the metropolis. Today, a significant part of the land area is theoretically covered by satellites, but more earth stations are needed to expand connectivity. SpaceX estimates to complete coverage of the globe in 2022.
If Starlink intends to challenge optical fiber and 4G with high speeds and minimum latencies, its offer remains hampered by a very expensive entry ticket: it is indeed necessary to pay hundreds of euros for the equipment (including an antenna to be placed on the roof), and a subscription (99 euros per month) which is also worth double or even triple what you can get in France with other types of Internet access.