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SpaceX Opens Starlink Preorders as Beta Program Broadened to Limited Users

UTC by John K. Kumi · 3 min read
SpaceX Opens Starlink Preorders as Beta Program Broadened to Limited Users
Photo: SpaceX / Twitter

Under the newly expanded program, members of the general public can go-ahead to enter their home address and proceed to deposit $99 to order a Starlink antenna router bundle.

Elon Musk, the founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX), has announced that the process of making preorders for Starlink Satellite Internet Service has begun with interested people required to deposit $99. The beta program of Starlink commenced in October 2020 with users required to incur an upfront cost of $499 for Starlink kits and shipping in addition to the $99 per month deposit for the service.

The Starlink kit includes the user’s terminal or the dish to make a connection to the satellite, and also, the wifi router. The beta program has been widened to include the limited number of users per the coverage area.

Under the newly expanded program, members of the general public can go-ahead to enter their home address and proceed to deposit $99 to order an antenna router bundle. According to the announcement, the delivery will depend on the location and would strictly follow a “first come, first serve” rule. Just as announced in their previous notice, the full Starlink kit which includes a Power supply, Wifi router, and mountable pizza-size dish antenna go for $499.

It is worth noting that the $99 deposits are refundable. Currently, their coverage does not include the entire location as some addresses entered come with a notice that the coverage would be available in mid to late 2021 and others showing 2022.

The invite-only beta-than-nothing program started last year proved to be a success as SpaceX recorded a user base of around 10,000, influencing the expansion of the program. They also managed to seal a pilot partnership deal with local governments around the US. Currently, over 1000 satellites have been launched into low earth orbit and the company has also sealed a regulatory green light to operate in Canada and the UK as they seek to expand their services globally.

According to public records, the company has penetrated the international market with registrations in Brazil, Germany, Greece, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Ireland, Chile, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Philippines, Spain, France, and Mexico. The company is working to add India, Japan, and the Caribbean to the list soon.

The cost involved in building this project is not a chicken change as it will not be anything less than $10 billion. However, the company expects to generate a revenue of at least $30 billion annually, which is said to be ten folds of what the rocket business generates.

Starlink is a very important project of SpaceX in their quest to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites. This is also termed “Constellation.” It aims to build a high-speed internet delivery to consumers located in every corner of the Earth. Interestingly, 4,425 satellites are expected to be deployed into orbit by 2024 after securing the approval to launch 11,943 satellites. Starlink will go public but on a condition set by Elon Musk, the Founder of spaces.

“SpaceX needs to pass through a deep chasm of negative cash flow over the next year or so to make Starlink financially viable, ” he said.

Also, he disclosed that every new satellite constellation in history has gone bankrupt, and they are fighting to avoid this.

“Once we can predict cash flow reasonably well, Starlink will IPO, ” he added.

Other news from the technology world can be found here.

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John K. Kumi
Author John K. Kumi

Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.

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