SpaceX has launched its 12th launch in 2020, although in this case it has not placed new Starlink satellites into orbit. That will happen at launch number 13 that will take place in late July and will carry 57 satellites for the Internet. The latest official figures speak of more than 500 satellites and soon we will exceed 600 in low Earth orbit (LEO for its acronym in English). With this, they have more than enough for an initial product launch.
Other aspects that we are getting to know when there are few weeks left for its commercial launch are those related to its antenna, its latency or its speed. The motorized antenna has already been captured in various photos, corresponding exactly to the description made by Elon Musk months ago. “Flat, fine and round UFO nailed to a stick”. It remains to be seen its price and whether it will be subsidized by the company in exchange for a commitment to stay.
Regarding latency, we have two different pieces of information. In a first phase, Musk confirms that the latencies will be 20ms, well above the latencies of traditional satellite Internet services. Of course, the same person in charge of the company confirmed that we will have 8ms in version 2, although no details about the arrival date of this substantial improvement.
Finally, it’s time to talk about the speed of the service. This is the first thing users started to ask themselves and each time we found a different answer. At first there was talk of speeds of up to 1 Gbps with a latency of 25 ms. However, that is with the entire fleet deployed or at least with many more units than we currently have in orbit.
Tim Farrar, from TMF Associates, confirms that Nebraska regulators already know how fast Starlink will offer at first. In this case, they speak of download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 40 Mbps, although everything will depend on the demand on the satellites that provide coverage at that time.
The question is how many people will be able to have 100 Mbps stable? We know that in the first beta everything will be restricted to a small part of the planet and steps will be taken in the coming months. By 2021, we could start talking about global coverage and the full deployment of the fleet would not take place until 2027.