SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wants to develop the world’s largest low-Earth orbit broadband constellation. His effort could soon now become a reality at least for the people living in the United States. According to the latest information, the company’s Starlink division is on the right track to offer satellite-broadband service. The services would probably be available for commoners in the US by mid-2020. The multi-billionaire tech mogul took to microblogging site Twitter to confirm that he is testing the broadband service. In the first of the two tweets, he wrote “sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite”. Within minutes, he wrote another tweet to his 29 million followers “Whoa, it worked!!”. Musk has a Starlink terminal at his house which could become a pioneer in providing cheap and fast internet to remote regions, ships, airplanes, and cars. Also, it could make international teleconferencing and online gaming lag-free.
According to SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell, the company is quite sure about offering broadband service in the US via its Starlink constellation next year. Starlink is a project wherein over 12,000 satellites will be placed into the Earth’s orbit to provide cheap broadband across the world. Musk wants to offer service to the American government. However, he is more focused on how it will serve the consumer market. For this, the company will have to launch six to eight batches of satellites. Shotwell added that the company has already completed the design and engineering of the user terminals. For global coverage, the company needs around 24 such launches. Shotwell added that the Starlink project is considered additive to the company’s core business and it will not replace space launch services that are the primary source of revenue.
Notably, the company had last week caused a flutter after it made a formal plea to the International Telecommunication Union requesting to approve the spectrum for 30,000 additional Starlink satellites. This demand was in addition to the already approved spectrum for 12,000 Starlink satellites by the US Federal Communications Commission.