Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX Friday announced that Starlink, the company’s satellite internet service, will exit its public beta phase in October. While this is exciting news, we are taking it with caution. It is Musk, after all, the man who became infamous for faded away time limit over the years.
Musk provided the update on Starlink, which offers the Internet via about 1,800 low-earth orbit satellites and counts, on his favorite social media platform, Twitter, but did not go into details. (He literally tweeted “next month” in response to a user question). Earlier this year, Musk said that Starlink “Probably” will be out of beta by the end of the summer, but with just a few days the company is unlikely to meet that target.
Exiting the beta phase would indicate that the company is getting closer to a larger launch of the service. Starlink claimed to have more than 500,000 orders last May.
As usual, Musk’s tweet managed to arouse the expectation of Starlink, a must-have service for those living in remote areas, which has reached impressive milestones in recent weeks.
Beginning of August, Starlink made the headlines when Ookla’s internet speed tests found it to be much faster than major alternative satellite internet options offered by HughesNet and Viasat in the United States Star link nearly efficient as well as fixed broadband in the upload and download tests. It was also the only provider with a median latency similar to that of fixed broadband.
Ookla pointed out that Starlink’s median download speeds in America were 97.23 Mbps in the second quarter of 2021, which was “fast enough to meet most of the needs of modern online life.” In comparison, HughesNet offered speeds of 19.73 Mbps, while Viasat offered speeds of 18.13 Mbps during the same period. Starlink did not reach the median download speed offered by all fixed broadband providers, or 115.22 Mbps, but hey, it didn’t have bad results.
Additionally, in late August, Musk revealed that Starlink had shipped 100,000 Starlink terminals– which cost $ 499, not including the monthly fee of $ 99 for real internet – in 14 countries. The announcement implied that the satellite Internet service had gained 10,000 users in less than a month.
Overall, the only way to confirm that Starlink is going out of beta is to wait and see. We’re skeptical, but maybe Musk will prove us wrong.