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Starlink UK

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,783
1,578
mid wales
Update on Teslarati about the Starlink beta programme. It seems that US and Canada orders for the kit are being fulfilled.

The beta costs $499 for the kit and $99 a month.

SpaceX rolls out Starlink "Better Than Nothing Beta" in the US and Canada

I manage a whopping 5mb/s on a good day here but $99/month??? Is Elon banking on fanboys only using it?

It starts to show that his model for selling stuff is far from the grand ideals he publicises of making stuff affordable and more typical of a business that sells at the max that the customer might pay - just like Tesla cars service/repair charges. I'm not so convinced that prices will drop...
 

Roy W.

Battery running low...
Jun 3, 2019
2,334
2,401
Derby, UK
I manage a whopping 5mb/s on a good day here but $99/month??? Is Elon banking on fanboys only using it?

It starts to show that his model for selling stuff is far from the grand ideals he publicises of making stuff affordable and more typical of a business that sells at the max that the customer might pay - just like Tesla cars service/repair charges. I'm not so convinced that prices will drop...
No, I’m not convinced that prices will drop either. Not really Elon’s style.

I suppose we’ve got to look at this in the context of prices in the States. There, all telecoms - landlines, mobiles and broadband - are all horrendously expensive compared to here in the U.K. Where we can get unlimited mobile minutes here for £5 a month, many US providers will charge $50 a month or more per line. Similar pricing on internet, and many US customers pay for Virgin-like bundles, sometimes costing several hundred dollars a month.
 
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Dangerous Fish

Pilots the Millennium Milkfloat
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2016
2,107
4,720
UK
There's a long way to go yet before even a beta would become available for the UK (if ever), so I wouldn't get too hung up on pricing just yet.

The big question is capacity of the network as a whole and that's going to take some time to determine.
 

Zakalwe

Member
Oct 16, 2020
511
547
UK
I manage a whopping 5mb/s on a good day here but $99/month??? Is Elon banking on fanboys only using it?

It starts to show that his model for selling stuff is far from the grand ideals he publicises of making stuff affordable and more typical of a business that sells at the max that the customer might pay - just like Tesla cars service/repair charges. I'm not so convinced that prices will drop...

Hold on, he's providing a service that no-one else is offering. Lets not forget that the US telcos swallowed $billions that were supposed to be used to increase employment and coverage. They gobbled the money as profit and sacked people. Coverage wasn't extended. Hell, ATT have been fighting to prevent the FCC from having accurate maps that show BB coverage.

Starlink's prime objective is to provide high(ish)-speed, low-latency Internet coverage where there is none. If your choice is no BB or $99 per month then what are you going to choose?
 
Yes, it seems that most of the nay-sayers are forgetting that the target audience is people with hard (or impossible!) to reach access or those for whom millisecond latencies make a difference (and they sure as hell can afford £75 per month).

I’d obviously not pay that money when I have fibre at home but definitely would if I was in a remote site in the outer Hebrides :)
 
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Zakalwe

Member
Oct 16, 2020
511
547
UK
Exactly. It's not a service for where there is an existing provider (at least, yet*). It's not for urban environments. It's for hard-to-reach areas where there is no service, or exorbitant high-latency satellite service.

Lets compare it to one of the biggest US satellite Internet providers- HughesNet HughesNet Deals and Promos | BroadbandNow.com Their cheapest deal is 25Mbps down, 3Mbps up capped at 10Gb per month. no installation cost and $69.99 per month. If you want 50Gb per month data cap then it's going to cost you $149.99 per month. And that's with latency of an average of 628 milliseconds.

Compare that to the Starlink beta (which is in effect a minimum viable product)- 50-150 Mbps, latency between 10-20 milliseconds and no mention of data caps.$99 per months is a steal compared to what's currently on offer.


*I expect that Musk is playing down his plans in order not to get the incumbents riled up. Once he has the full network in place then it will be too late for them to do much. It also looks like the network will carry military traffic, so there'll be big bucks in there. High Frequency Traders will flock to the transit times too....even shaving millisends off the transit times will give a competitive edge worth billions (remember the speed of light in air/vacuum is a LOT faster than the speed of light in fibre-optics).
 

Yev000

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,396
985
Knaphill
It will get cheaper with more volume and lower cost. $99/month to be the first with low to none contention ratio and getting gigabit speeds is pretty good. Especially if one connection can be shared out using ground based repeaters.

This isn't designed to compete with BT just yet.

Although I can see a future where this is cheaper than putting down cables, or having 5G towers every 100 meters. You'd be surprised how far a signal has to travel these days just to check an email - further that low earth orbit @340 miles thats for sure.

In fact, in future it might make financial sense to put server farms in orbit - cheap electricity, cheap cooling, low latency to something like starlink, no size constraints. Obslete hardware can just be deporbited. The only obsticle is cost to orbit and the development of a large solar array for power. Which would be solved with something like starship.

So I recon in ~ 10 years, something like starlink (TBH there is no competition) would be the only way to develop and communicate with a server farm in orbit. I would not be at all surprised that Starlink would be the next cloud computing service provider themselves. Ping to our datacenter in Manchester is average 21ms. Via the VPN - that is already greather than 340 miles there and back, just to send a mouse click and get a reply from the server I'm administering.
 

Zakalwe

Member
Oct 16, 2020
511
547
UK
It will get cheaper with more volume and lower cost. $99/month to be the first with low to none contention ratio and getting gigabit speeds is pretty good. Especially if one connection can be shared out using ground based repeaters.

This isn't designed to compete with BT just yet.

Although I can see a future where this is cheaper than putting down cables, or having 5G towers every 100 meters. You'd be surprised how far a signal has to travel these days just to check an email - further that low earth orbit @340 miles thats for sure.

In fact, in future it might make financial sense to put server farms in orbit - cheap electricity, cheap cooling, low latency to something like starlink, no size constraints. Obslete hardware can just be deporbited. The only obsticle is cost to orbit and the development of a large solar array for power. Which would be solved with something like starship.

So I recon in ~ 10 years, something like starlink (TBH there is no competition) would be the only way to develop and communicate with a server farm in orbit. I would not be at all surprised that Starlink would be the next cloud computing service provider themselves. Ping to our datacenter in Manchester is average 21ms. Via the VPN - that is already greather than 340 miles there and back, just to send a mouse click and get a reply from the server I'm administering.


Cooling in space is far from easy. Cooling something with such a massive heat output as a server farm would be extremely costly and difficult. Far better to sink them in seawater a-la the recent Microsoft experiment off the coast of Scotland.

Pinging satellites, especially once they have the laser links in place, can be quicker than pinging via fibre optics.


 

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