Starlink, the division of SpaceX which has been launching internet beaming satellites into orbit with abandon in recent months, is set to reach a significant milestone later this tear. This as it will have achieved global coverage in September.
The company would still need to attain regulatory approval in order to offer internet connectivity across the globe, but it’s currently on course to reach the milestone, according to the company’s president Gwynne Shotwel, who was briefing attendees at the virtual Macquarie Group technology conference this week.
“We’ve successfully deployed 1 800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like September timeframe,” she confirmed.
“But then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms services,” added Shotwel.
The current amount of satellites is but a fraction of what Starlink plans to launch, with the president adding that 12 000 satellites in total is in the offing, carrying an estimated cost of $10 billion. As such, the 11 countries where Starlink is offered in beta, should grow substantially by September.
For those in South Africa wanting to make use of the service, 2022 has been outlined as a potential launch window for the service, as the aforementioned regulatory approval would need to be sought before South Africans can sign up for Starlink and start making use of the service.
For now though subsidiaries in SA have been registered, so hopefully the setup time once approval is granted will not be long.
While this is indeed an intriguing time for connectivity, any backlash or fallout regarding how many objects the company plans to send into orbit, remains to be seen.