SpaceX intends to beam internet from its Starlink satellites to vehicles on Earth.
The revelation came through a recent SpaceX filing through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which requests permission to install its Internet terminals in moving vehicles – not in people’s homes.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk later gave some clarification via Twitter, by stating Its purpose is to add “aircraft, ships, large trucks and RVs”, although cars as terminals are currently “not very large.”
The filing, which the FCC received last week, included the following statement: “Users are no longer ready for connectivity while on the move, whether it is driving trucks across the country, going from Europe to an American port Ho, or while a domestic or international flight. “
While home users of SpaceX’s StarLink service are able to install the terminals by themselves, the company stated in its filing that the “qualified installer” would install the system in vehicles.
Offering StarLink broadband to vehicles will significantly expand the market for SpaceX, with Musk already having $ 50 billion in annual revenue if the company is able to secure even a few percent of the global telecommunications market through StarLink.
SpaceX has already deployed more than 1,000 StarLink satellites in low-Earth orbit after several launches since May 2019, each sending a batch of 60 satellites into space.
In the summer of 2020, the company began low-key beta testing of the broadband service for select users, expanding it to 10,000 people in just a few months. And in February 2021, it began taking pre-orders for the equipment needed to install it, as well as self-service, which is still in beta.
Starlink customers are required to pay $ 549 ($ 499 for hardware and $ 50 for shipping and handling) as well as $ 99 a month for Internet service.
Many customers are currently getting speeds of around 100 megabits per second (Mbps), though Musk said last month that it should increase to 300 Mbps later this year. The billionaire entrepreneur noted that while many people may not be getting the kind of superfast pace that some people are already enjoying, this is the speed experienced by many people living in areas with low-to-moderate population densities But there is a definite improvement that aims to reach Starlink.
As it continues to build its satellite planetarium, SpaceX’s long-term goal is to blanket the Earth in broadband connectivity, affordable and reliable Internet access for all, with special focus on communities in remote areas that at the present time There is little or no access to reliable Internet services.