Elon Musk says Starlink internet speeds will double to 300Mbps this year

Image: SpaceX

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.

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.

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I passed up the beta, because I was able to get Suddenlink to reduce their prices after threatening to leave for AT&T even for worse speeds. Glad to have another bargaining chip I suppose and better speeds help.

What’s the speed ceiling with Starlink?

Currently, I believe they have talked about getting up to 1gbit/s speeds. At some point there will be spectrum issues kinda like with cell networks, but there is no easy set max speed.

Comcast scurred

Why? In areas where both exist, Comcast probably offers better speeds than Starlink.

For most users who don’t extreme speeds but care about data caps (for streaming, etc.) this will be an excellent alternative to Comcast. Or it will at least be enough to keep Comcast competitive.

I don’t think starlink is far less competitive in cities since the bandwidth from the same satellite will have to be spilt among more users.

No it won’t, it doesn’t have anywhere near the capacity. They will have to limit signups. Less than 500,000 users at 100Mbps in 2026 across the entire US. Anything over that is oversubscription, which they will be able to do like current satellite. But, no significant threat to city providers with so few being able to sign up. High density customers doesn’t work, the company has also stated this.

You are aware Comcast doesn’t just offer service in cities right?

From what little I know about it, since I’ve never seen the service or know anyone that has it, as far as I know, ~mostly more densely populated areas.

Figure what Starlink can cover, unknown is how many times over they will oversubscribe. But even several times that, It doesn’t work out to very many households per each of their cells/households per land area. They will take some customers from the big guys, but as I (and the company itself) said, they aren’t a major threat, with only a "handful" of customers per cell (handful, meaning a number I didn’t calculate, but not a very big one). And the big companies won’t care (at least much) about a few of the more expensive customers that they will either lose (less density/less return), or not have to cover.

And, they said no data caps, at least they said they don’t want or plan to do them, but they also said they may have to take steps to allow fair access (I forget the exact quote, but they said something like that).

So you made a factual statement saying StarLink can’t be a competitor to Comcast despite knowing very little about what each company has or plans to offer?

What’s factual is that you have no idea what StarLink is capable of offering, and even that answer is dependent on how they choose to offer their service. So you really have no basis to say so firmly that it can’t be a competitor to Comcast.

If Starlink’s plans turn out to be better than Comcast’s, it’s not really relevant when they won’t have the capacity to sign up very many in a given area. Can’t be much plainer than that factual statement, yet you’ll still argue.

Am I missing something? What is the monthly cost? Couldn’t find any info on the website.

100 a month, but there is a 500 dollars worth of hardware first. For people that are rural this is still a pretty good price point. As it gets out of Beta the prices will probably drop a bit.

it is rumored, though, that customer hardware costs $2500, it’s just subsidized by SpaceX, because they think people wouldn’t pay more.

Hard to believe that figure after looking at the YouTube tear-down vids. Yes, custom ICs, nice motor mechanism, moulds and fancy finishes aren’t cheap, but at scale it becomes all by-the-pound and there doesn’t seem to be enough unobtanium in the hardware to justify $2,500.

https://spacenews.com/news-analysis-spacex-has-a-lot-riding-on-starlinks-499-ufo-on-a-stick/
Less paywalling.
It’s not that expensive once scale is achieved, but why be concerned about the antenna when, you know, rocket launches cost in order of 10s of millions and are not recoupable.

Launches cost "a bit", reusing parts saves a lot. Plus, they are working toward Starship, which will carry a few times more the number of satellites per launch, and save a fair bit more money. The math has been done a few places, it works out, after a few years of course, with the initial costs. Cheaper home hardware would get that profit faster.

People need to see the big picture. This isn’t going to replace your ATT, Hotwire, Comcast fiber in the city, but talk to someone out of town or a farmer and these speeds are a dream.

This isn’t meant to replace cable, it’s for the 90% of Earth — land, sea, and air that isn’t in a city or even medium size town. It would be nice to finally have broadband on airplanes instead of having to bring pre-downloaded movies.

71% of Earth is water so the percentage you refer will be much higher than 90, around 96-97%.

My question is how they can do this when they having deployed just 5% of the full network of satellites. Do the satellite orbits enable it such that it can provide this service consistently in one area of the globe, or is it evenly covering the Earth but unable to support the full amount of customers yet.

They have most of the globe covered with the exception of the poles. They aren’t entirely evenly distributed as higher populations areas are prioritised. Take a look at this
https://orbitalindex.com/feature/starlink-coverage/

The degrees from the horizon adjuster gives you a great idea of the coverage. The higher the degrees from the horizon the lower latency and faster speeds you should get. That’s excluding any factors such as weather, satellite altitude, satellite capacity… Just the fact the satellites overhead should be physically closer.

As more satellites are launched you become more likely to have one overhead. Therefore you get lower latency and faster speeds along with Starlink having a higher capacity.

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