SpaceX has revealed that its Starlink satellite Internet will cost early beta testers $99 per month, Engadget reports.
This excludes the cost of the hardware needed to connect to the Starlink network, which SpaceX said will cost an additional $499 as a once-off payment.
The company revealed this pricing structure in an email to potential beta testers who had signed up to learn more about the satellite Internet solution.
SpaceX labelled the program the “Better Than Nothing Beta” and has launched apps for Android and iOS to help customers determine the best area to place their terminal equipment.
The company said it has given the “Better Than Nothing” name to the beta programme because it wanted to lower the expectations of its testers due to predicted inconsistent performance.
The company explained that speeds will range from 50Mbps to 150Mbps, while latency is expected to vary from 20ms to 40ms. It also warned that there may be periods where beta testers will not get any connection at all.
Starlink currently has over 800 satellites in orbit, which is over twice the number that Musk said needed to be in orbit in order for Starlink to provide minor Internet service coverage.
SpaceX claimed in its original filing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that Starlink would be capable of 1Gbps speeds but would need to deploy 4,400 satellites to achieve this.
Long-term, SpaceX wants to launch 42,000 satellites to provide a much more expansive and rigorous Internet product.
As it stands, there are only six cities – all in the US – where Starlink has ground stations and therefore can access the Starlink product:
- Hawthorne, California
- Conrad, Montana
- Greenville, Pennsylvania
- North Bend, Washington
- Redmond, Washington
- Merrillan, Wisconsin
However, it has asked the FCC to ultimately allow it to build 5 million of these ground stations.