Starlink Satellite Internet Service may have the ability to provide high-speed connections around the world to users in the most remote regions of the globe before the end of this year.
To date, SpaceX has deployed around 1,800 satellites to the Starlink constellation. While this number represents only a small part of the 12,000 satellite regulators already approved for the constellation, it is enough to allow for worldwide coverage.
According to Reuters, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell revealed in a web conference that the service will be able to provide continuous global coverage once all 1,800 satellites reach their operational orbit. The aerospace company expects this to happen in September this year.
However, this does not mean that the company can automatically offer all users around the world access to broadband Internet services. As Shotwell explained during the event, SpaceX will first have to secure regulatory approval to provide telecommunications services in all countries where it wants to offer Starlink Internet.
Starlink is currently available as a beta service in only a few countries, including the US, UK and Canada. CNBC discovered earlier this year, however, that the company has already registered subsidiaries in Austria, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, France, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa and Spain.
In February of this year, SpaceX reported in an FCC document that the service already had over 10,000 users as part of its public beta test launch. In effect, the company opened its beta testing program to more people and gave everyone interested the option of paying a deposit of $99 with a promise to provide coverage later this year or next. There was so much interest in the service that SpaceX unveiled in May that it received more than 500,000 requests for Starlink.
Shotwell did not expose the company’s plans for the service after September, but it is likely to see Starlink expand its beta program to welcome new users in the aforementioned countries.