It was already accessible, but for a limited number of users (and you had to put yourself on a waiting list): now Starlink, the satellite connectivity system to the Internet invented by Elon Musk, it is also officially active in Italy and in other 31 countries. It is “immediately”, ie without the long waiting times to receive antennas and other materials seen in the past.
SpaceX, which is completing a formidable satellite web, has shared one screenshot su Twitter with the world map of the availability of the service: at the moment the connection is possible in most of Europe, from Italy to Romania, with the significant exception of Crete and some Greek islands, as well as in the United States, in Southern Australia and in New Zealand, Chile and some Brazilian regions. For much of the rest of the world, however, the roadmap points to the availability starting from the first quarter of 2023. Other areas are understandably off the charts: Russia, China, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria.
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How many subscribers are there at the moment
From 25 countries it therefore rises to 32, but the fundamental novelty is precisely the fact that the service, and the Starlink Kit shipment (with antenna inside, Wi-Fi router, cables and base) is ensured quickly. We are talking about the first real leap in terms of distribution and diffusion: according to the numbers of last March, the active users in the world, consumer and professional, were just 250 thousand and concentrated in the United States.
Thanks to the use of a constellation of thousands of satellites positioned in low earth orbit (which has made scientists and sky observation enthusiasts turn up their noses due to the light pollution it is generating), Starlink enables video calling, online gaming, streaming and other data-intensive activities that in past were not possible with this type of connections. Customers are assured speed of connection between 100 and 200 MB / s and latency as low as 20 MS in most locations.
Costs: over 700 euros immediately, then 99 per month
We did a test on a semi-peripheral address in Rome: the service is available at the price of 644 euros for the starter kit, to which add 75 euros for packaging and shipping. Then it would be necessary to pay 99 euros per month for the subscription. This is an objectively very expensive service for an average domestic user, where the broadband of the main operators, even just Fttc, is more than enough to stream movies and sports, surf, play, work or download bulky files. Different speech for rural communities, the areas poorly reached by fiber and mobile connectivity, the so-called “market failure” areas, on which operators have struggled for years to agree. Just think of the total fiasco of the last few races to bring the 5G antennas to the so-called white areas with almost a billion subsidies: they have gone deserted. In those contexts, Starlink will be among the few solutions available. And salvific, albeit at a high cost.
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For a first global coverage, 4,400 satellites are needed
Until last year, the FCC, the US Telecommunications Commission, had authorized about 12 thousand satellites for the program, which however should go as far as throw at least 30 thousand objects (about 8 are produced per day). At the moment, the most up-to-date count says that we have over 2300 Starlink satellites launched since 2018, of which about 2 thousand are operational and the others are required to be in different stages of activation. Not only nearly 5 times the number of satellites in the rival constellation OneWeb, but constantly increasing. For a first, complete global coverage it is estimated that at least 4400 will be needed, because at the moment AfricaThe Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the vast majority of the South AmericaSoutheast Asia and the Japan I’m out of offer. Instead, the milestone of 2 thousand devices was reached in the middle of last January.