Unbridled by the constraints of traditional ground infrastructure, Starlink has the potential to deliver high-speed broadband internet to remote locations. With an aim to deliver services internationally, Starlink is now operational as a beta for the early birds and is continuously expanding. The only downside being in beta is the internet speed but it looks like that will be taken care of very soon. Responding to a query, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has claimed that Starlink satellite internet service will have the capability of data transfer as high as the speed of light. SpaceX plans to deploy laser-equipped satellites into orbit that will play a major role in eliminating the reliance on ground stations.
At present, the Starlink network relies on a dish, satellites, and ground stations. From what it looks like, the company is aiming to get rid of these ground stations that have proved to be a hindrance to fast data transfers due to the long time they take to communicate with the satellites. With lasers, the transmission speed, as Musk claims, is expected to be around 40% faster than what it usually is in optical fibers. As a result, we might witness blazing fast internet transfer capabilities without having the need to touch the ground.
Considering Musk’s statement and calculating the speed based on the existing speed with optical fiber, Starlink will be able to transfer data packets at 180,832 miles per second and it turns out that this speed is approximately 97% of the speed of light in a vacuum.
Musk has ensured that Starlink will soon cut down the ground station element from the whole of Arctic and provide enough bandwidths as well. Considering the fast-paced developments in the SpaceX camp, this doesn’t seem far-fetched. SpaceX plans to further increase the data capacity by three folds, reduce latencies to 50ms, and enhance coverage to polar regions with the help of the company’s second-generation satellites.
SpaceX is also accelerating the launch of a little above 1,200 Starlink satellites over the next few months but may face a little delay due to rocket oxidizer shortages and a tedious satellite manufacturing process. Gizmochina