Elon Musk, CEO of Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
Patrick T Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
London – SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service is now being tested in the UK after having obtained a license from UK telecom regulator Ofcom.
Starlink was released with a “ground station network license” in November, a spokesman for Ofcom told CNBC on Tuesday. SpaceX did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
A £ 200 ($ 272) per year license allows Starlink to sell satellite dishes and other communications equipment in the UK so people can pick up the signals that are emitted from the Starlink satellite network.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, an aerospace manufacturer and space carrier. It announced that it was in the process of creating a Starlink subsection in 2015.
Musk, now the world’s richest person, said he wants to improve internet access in parts of the world that are currently not served by broadband providers. It plans to do this by placing thousands of small communications satellites in low Earth orbit that can send high-speed and low-latency internet to Earth.
at Interview last March, Musk said SpaceX could generate up to $ 30 billion annually through broadband provision. He said Starlink would be “beneficial to carriers because Starlink will serve the toughest customers,” adding that 5G is not great for the countryside because “you need a band.”
Starlink started It will compete with OneWeb in the UK, is being It aims to put 1,440 of its 260 kg (570 lb) satellites into orbit By late 2021.
The company, which primarily focuses on connecting rural areas where the internet is unreliable or unavailable, has been inviting people in the United States and Canada to try its service since October.
She is now inviting people in the UK by email, according to reports and social media users. Starlink charges UK customers £ 439 for a satellite dish and other communications equipment, plus £ 89 monthly fees and £ 54 shipping fees.
Those testing the service can expect data speeds ranging from 50 megabits per second (megabits per second) to 150 megabits per second, according to the reports. The average broadband speed in the UK is 64Mbps, but people in rural areas often struggle to get anywhere near that. It is unclear how many homes and offices are currently using the Starlink service.
SpaceX set up a British entity in London called Starlink Internet Services last August, according to a document filed in the British Companies House Registry.
A photo of what appears to be one of Starlink’s first shipments in the UK has been shared on Reddit by Philip Hall, who lives in the Devon countryside in southwest England.
“As an enthusiast with no prospect for (broadband) fiber in the near term, I signed up for the beta very early,” Hall told CNBC via Reddit on Thursday.
“The technical capacity in this, at a consumer level, is amazing,” said Hall, who once deployed British Army air defense networks.
In terms of performance, Hall said he can consistently get download speeds of up to 80Mbps at home.
He suspects he got the Starlink dish because the company wants the data before a commercial launch and he’s at the right latitude.
Hall described the setup, and said it was like many other devices. He installed an app on his Android phone, checked it to make sure the dish had a clear view of the sky (something that was easy in the Devon countryside) and plugged it in. “The app asks you to register your cooking name and password,” he said.
Greece, Germany and Australia have also reportedly accepted the Starlink bid.