SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, is set to begin testing its satellite-based cellular service called Starlink. The company aims to provide low-latency, high-speed internet to people living in remote areas where traditional broadband is unavailable or unreliable. The testing is expected to begin later this year, with a public beta launch already available in certain areas.

According to Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s Vice President of Starlink and Commercial Sales, the company’s goal is to provide high-speed internet to those who previously lacked access. “We are targeting service in the Northern U.S. and Canada in 2020, rapidly expanding to near global coverage of the populated world by 2021,” Hofeller said at a recent industry event.

The Starlink system consists of a network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that will communicate with user terminals on the ground. The company has already launched more than 1,000 satellites into orbit and plans to launch thousands more in the coming years. With this extensive network of satellites, Starlink aims to offer internet speeds that are comparable to traditional broadband services.

The service has already seen some success with its public beta launch in certain areas of the United States and Canada. In a recent tweet, Elon Musk announced that Starlink has already received over 500,000 preorders for the service. “Only limitation is high density of users in urban areas,” Musk said in the tweet.

The service is expected to face regulatory challenges in some countries, including the United Kingdom, where the government has expressed concerns over the potential impact on astronomy. However, SpaceX remains committed to expanding its services globally, with plans to provide internet access to people in remote and underserved areas.

Overall, the testing and launch of Starlink is a significant development in the effort to bridge the digital divide and bring high-speed internet to people around the world. With its extensive network of satellites and commitment to expanding its services, SpaceX has the potential to revolutionize the way we access and use the internet.

Via The Impactlab