High speed broadband internet will be delivered to locations such as Africa, where access has been unreliable, expensive or completely unavailable, That is Starlink’s promise. So the big question is When will Starlink Satellite Service be in SA?
Who is Starlink:
At present Starlink is part of Space X – founded by the South African born billionaire Elon Musk. He is also the co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Inc, having taken the role of CEO from 2008. He used part of his funds from a company Zip2, which he and his Brother, Kimbal, founded in 1995. They sold it in 1999 and Musk started an online service company called X.com, which later became Pay Pal. When that sold to eBay two years later he earned a staggering $165m (R 2970 mil)
Musk founded Space X – or Space Exploration Technologies in May 2002 with $100m(R 1800m) of his fortune. As of April 2020 he is said to be worth around $38bil (R 684 bil) makin him the 23rd richest man in the world.
What is Starlink?
Starlink is a satellite constellation being constructed by SpaceX to provide satellite Internet access.
The constellation will consist of thousands of mass-produced small satellites in low Earth orbit, working in combination with ground transceivers.
When will SpaceX Starlink Satellite Service be available in South Africa?
The official Starlink website claims that coverage will come to the northern United States and Canada by 2020. From there, the firm is aiming for “near-global coverage of the populated world” by 2021. Thumps up people, we might have super fast satellite internet by next year!
Space X – No they are not alliens!
Many of us has seen a row of satellites lately and quick to point a finger at “the unidentified flying objects”. Right here in Tesserlaarsdal, South Africa a farmer saw them in a row (a satellite train) and the excitement is overwhelming everywhere as they get spotted. You can view some of the Launches on a Video : “Watch SpaceX Launch 60 New Starlink Satellites into Orbit or follow them on the Starlink page for a direct link.
It wouldn’t be internet without satellites and Starlink has a ton of them. Each Satellite is about the size of your office desk and weighs close to 500 pounds (226kg). Falcon 9 is a two stage rocket designed and manufactured by Space X for the transport of satellites.They have just sent its fifth rocket of the year into space with 60 internet beaming satellites into space.
Faster Internet Broadband speed than ever before?
We are all eager to see whether Starlink lives up to the hype. Air Force beta test have seen download speeds around 600Mbps and it looks promising.
Here are some keypoints we know so far:
- Right now the earliest date for availability in mid 2020 in the US and Canada and Globally soon after that.
- The Cost guess is about $80 (R1440.00) and maybe an additional $100 (R1800) to $300 (R5400.00) for the user terminal.
- The amount of satellites in orbit as of March 2020 are 302 .
- SpaceX has filed requests for a total of 42 000 satellites to be launched so far.
Will Starlink be avialable in South Africa and at what cost?
Technically the answer is yes and in anywhere else in the world. The SpaceX Starlink service will require installation of a fixed two way dish and terminal at each user location, similar to DSTV installation. Its too early to say if the service will be commercially available in South Africa and we can look at what it will require to ensure availability.
Initially, the probable target market will be mostly “off -grid” locations. This means users at locations are not connected to the 3G mobile networks or fibre networks. We must consider the business attractiveness. This is a special niche service. If any of the telcos will indeed adopt this as a “go to market” product. At an end user average cost of R1500 for service and based on an estimation of 100,000 terminals (10% of the base) the potential annual revenue income for a Telco will be R150m . Putting this into context this will be about 0.2% of a local Mobile 2019 revenue.
It will be expected that a new generation of highly focused, niche satellite service Providers will target this opportunity. Providers such as Q-Kon, who are already leading this market with the HTS satellite service products, will have to look into this market. This will be the next logical step in meeting the never -ending demand for trustworthy fast internet broadband services in Africa.
“Given the expected technical speed and latency performances of the SpaceX, Starlink service, the benefits to connect all “off the grid” users does build a compelling case that Africa can’t ignore” says one of the CEO’s of a leading African Company.
Keeping the Space Clean:
While keeping the space clean, Starlink is on the leading edge of non-orbit debris mitigation and meeting or exceeding all regulatory and industry standards. At end of life, the satellite will utilize their on board propulsion system to de-orbit over the course of a few months. The satellites will burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within 1-5 years significantly less than the hundreds of years required at higher altitudes.
High Speed Internet – Access across the globe – what we were waiting for is here!!
How and When to see SpaceX Starlink Train in Space
You can visit this website that collects your GPS information and advise what time is best for you to see the SpaceX Starlink Train: https://findstarlink.com/
When will Starlink Satellite Service be in SA
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