Over the past few months, we’ve heard more and more about SpaceX’s Starlink, Elon Musk’s upcoming satellite-broadband service. for those interested in learning how the service performs, some beta users have recently started revealing some promising numbers. Behold:
Beta users of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-broadband service are getting download speeds ranging from 11Mbps to 60Mbps, according to tests conducted using Ookla’s speedtest.net tool. Speed tests showed upload speeds ranging from 5Mbps to 18Mbps.
And this is just the beginning. The numbers should improve quite a lot in the next few years.
SpaceX has told the Federal Communications Commission that Starlink would eventually hit gigabit speeds, saying in its 2016 application to the FCC that “once fully optimized through the Final Deployment, the system will be able to provide high bandwidth (up to 1Gbps per user), low latency broadband services for consumers and businesses in the US and globally.” SpaceX has launched about 600 satellites so far and has FCC permission to launch nearly 12,000.
While 60Mbps isn’t a gigabit, it’s on par with some of the lower cable speed tiers and is much higher than speeds offered by many DSL services in the rural areas where SpaceX is likely to see plenty of interest.
In March, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said, “We’re targeting latency below 20 milliseconds, so somebody could play a fast-response video game at a competitive level.” SpaceX satellites have low-Earth orbits of 540km to 570km, making them capable of much lower latency than geostationary satellites that orbit at about 35,000km.