Billionaire CEO Elon Musk has been making waves in the news for many reasons in recent times.
While the electric automobile brand, Tesla has been on the lips of most car owners in the US, especially those who had purchased some of the series that had to be called back due to a glitch in the sensor of the car window; Elon Musk might be much talked about again, this time as regards the Starlink services by SpaceX.
As we proceed, please bear in mind that this article has been put together by The Watchtower, a web design agency in Dubai and a leading name in the business of web design and development in Dubai.
What is Starlink by SpaceX?
To ensure we all have a clear understanding of this topic and no one is left in the dark, let's get our understanding from the foundation of what Starlink is all about.
According to Wikipedia, Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, providing satellite Internet access coverage to 40 countries. It also aims for global mobile phone service after 2023.
In low Earth orbit (LEO) as of September 2022, Starlink comprises over 3,000 mass-produced tiny satellites that connect with specialized ground transceivers. As of June 2022, Starlink served over 500,000 customers with an internet connection.
What makes Starlink special?
Although Starlink is more expensive, especially with its upfront equipment fees, it provides more data and a faster internet speed for the monthly price compared to other internet service providers like ViaSat and HughesNet.
Starlink is also not as accessible for requests because its distribution is more constrained compared to other providers.
Is Starlink by SpaceX available in Ukraine?
Earlier in the year, in February 2022, the Ukrainian government found the need to replace their internet services and reached out, requesting the services of the Starlink satellites after their main source of the internet was destroyed during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
By April, SpaceX had deployed about 5,000 Starlink terminals for the Ukrainian government, giving them access to the Starlink network.
Why is everyone talking about Starlink by SpaceX?
With the ongoing war between the Russian government and the government of Ukraine, billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, was reached for the services of his Internet service provider company, Starlink by SpaceX. To show their support and stance for the Ukrainian government, Starlink terminals were sent to Ukraine.
While 73% of the 5000 terminals were donated by Space X with free monthly services, the 27% remaining were paid by USAID, including France and Poland, respectively.
Ukraine started enjoying the services of free internet in mid-August until a few days back when the CEO announced that they would no longer be running a free internet service for the government of Ukraine and requested that the US government pick up the monthly bill.
Why did SpaceX halt the service of Starlink terminals in Ukraine?
From the recent letter reported by CNN, it was gathered by an external consultant working for the company that SpaceX currently faces difficult decisions as regards Starlink, stating that the company currently does not possess the financial ability to provide additional services or terminals to Ukraine.
Elon Musk had complained about the cost of launching, implementing, and replenishing ground stations and paying telcos that provided internet access via gateways and the cost of Burn, which goes as high as $20 million per month.
In other related news, this decision was made after Musk had suggested the need for Ukraine to surrender its territory to the Russian government but pleaded neutral. This act led the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, to reply to Musk using stern words.
When Musk was asked why they were threatening to pull out the free internet services from Ukraine, his response was: “We are just following his recommendation.”
How effective are Starlink internet services by SpaceX?
Starlink is known for being a reliable internet service provider, and they are available in over 40 countries, providing premium, uninterrupted internet services.
Over the years, Starlink has consistently proven to provide high download and upload speeds with low latency.
Starlink by SpaceX would remain relevant considering the quality service they render and more territories with low internet service options they penetrate [like the just deployed Philippines services].
As of June 2022, Starlink has enjoyed a dedicated 500, 000 customer base and expects to generate up to $30 billion in revenue by 2025.