Starlink’s beta phase is expected to end in October. Regular operation will then start, and users should already receive the promised performance data.
It’s not a well-written press release from SpaceX announcing the end of the beta phase, which unjustifiably began under the name “better than nothing” in October 2020. Instead, a tweet should suffice. And this is extremely rare, as in the case of Elon Musk. When asked by Twitter user Overshield when Starlink would finish the beta phase, the SpaceX chief answered in two words:
Next month, so it should be long after that. Of course, the question of which regions of the world the statement should apply to remains unanswered. It seems unlikely that Starlink will ever release the Better Than Nothing Beta anywhere in the world and go into regular operation. On the other hand, the statement is likely to be more related to Musk’s homeland, the United States, and possibly his neighbor Canada.
In any case, the service has so far only provided 17 countries with fast Internet from space. In Germany, Starlink is operated under a one-year approval from the Federal Network Agency, which enables SpaceX to evaluate user stations. Starlink has been available to order in Germany since February. The device arrived at the t3n editor’s desk a little over a week ago and is currently being prepared for testing. Starlink currently costs €99 per month, plus €558 for hardware.
According to data from, Starlink was still shown in the US in the second quarter of 2021 Speedtest.net Average values of about 97 Mbps downstream and 14 Mbps upstream with a latency of 45 ms. Anecdotal reports were made for values exceeding 300 Mbit/s downstream and 60 Mbit/s upstream.
That would be very close to what Elon Musk promised from February of that year. And he had promised the same downstream with a latency of less than 20 milliseconds “later this year”. With each additional satellite, connectivity and response time will continue to improve. In the medium term, SpaceX aims for a latency of less than ten milliseconds. New Cube-Sats with Laser-Link should help here, too, as they can pass data to each other in orbit without having to return to ground stations each time.
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