SpaceX launches a smaller, more compact Starlink satellite internet dish
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk‘s satellite Internet service Starlink has unveiled a new smaller and rectangular dish that interested customers can buy to tap into the company’s growing satellite constellation in low Earth orbit.
Starlink is SpaceX’s satellite internet project, which aims to launch nearly 12,000 satellites into low Earth orbit where they can provide broadband internet coverage to people on the ground — notably those in remote and rural areas where traditional internet infrastructure is lacking.
The new dish also comes with a new router. Like the previous one, it’s a Wi-Fi 5 device, but the MU-MIMO capabilities have been increased from 2×2 to 3×3, meaning that it supports three independent channels of simultaneous traffic that bring multiple devices online at once or combine to boost the speeds to client devices with multiple antennas of their own.
The new router loses the Ethernet port of the original, so if you want to connect a third-party router of your own, you’ll need to purchase a separate Etherlink adapter from the Starlink shop. The dish is a thinner and lighter-weight option than the circular dish that Starlink beta users have been testing over the last year.
To tap into the system, users need to mount a dish somewhere near their home, like the roof, where they can get a clear view of the sky (free of trees) at all times.
The buy-in cost was $499 for the kit and then $99 a month for coverage. Now, users have the option to buy this new rectangular dish instead, which is just 12-inches wide and 19-inches long.
At 9.2 pounds, it is nearly half the weight of the original 16-pound dish. However, the price to buy the rectangular option appears unchanged.
SpaceX launched the beta version of Starlink in October 2020, allowing users in certain geographical areas of the US to purchase the company’s starter kit, which included a 23-inch-wide circular user terminal — or dish — mounting equipment, a Wi-Fi router, and all the cables one would need.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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