Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite-based internet provider, will double in speed “later this year”, according to a tweet by Elon Musk, posted as a reply to someone who had just received their Starlink beta kit (via CNET). The company currently promises speeds between 50 to 150Mbps, and Musk specifically calls out a 300Mbps goal in his tweet.
While 300Mbps isn’t unheard-of speed, it’s faster than many people currently have access to, especially in the low-to-medium population density areas that Musk talks about targeting in a second tweet.
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.
In the reply, Elon also tells the person that their latency should improve to around 20ms as well. In the speed test screenshots, their latency was at 34 and 44ms respectively, while Starlink’s website says to expect between 20 and 40ms during the beta.
The speed increase and latency improvements should come as a nice surprise to anyone who put down a $100 Starlink pre-order. However, it’s well known that Elon’s promises about the future should be taken with a grain of salt, especially if they’re about timelines. Still, this shows that SpaceX is looking to speed up Starlink, and it might be able to keep pace with what’s available from a copper wire running to your house.