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SpaceX ‘will charge $99 a month’ for ‘better than nothing’ 50-150Mbps

SpaceX Starlink launch Oct 2020.jpg

Elon Musk’s SpaceX will charge trial users of its satellite-delivered Starlink broadband system US$99 a month, according to leaked emails.

Users will also have to pay $499 for installation, say the emails, which have not been confirmed.

“Expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mbps to 150Mbps and latency from 20ms to 40ms over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system,” says the emails, sent to prospective users across the US.

According to CNBC, SpaceX asked potential subscribers to sign up for the trial in June, and says “nearly 700,000 individuals” across the US have indicated interest in the service.

The reports, from both Reuters and CNBC, say SpaceX has invited people in the states of Idaho, Washington and Wisconsin to try out the service.  

But SpaceX, which says the service is a “better than nothing beta test”, warns: “There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all.”

SpaceX is expecting to spend $10 billion on its Starlink network, which will use satellites orbiting 550-600km above the Earth’s surface.

In the latest launch, on 24 October, Space X launched 60 satellites (pictured), taking the total in orbit to 844. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved the launch of 12,000 satellites and is considering an application for 30,000 more.

The company is building satellites at the rate of 120 a month.