What kind of speeds can we expect from Starlink’s satellite internet service when it exits beta?
When SpaceX first applied to launch and operate a constellation of 4,425 satellites they told the FCC that with the complete rollout, users would see up to 1 Gbps speeds.
Right now, there are about 900 satellites in operational orbits and SpaceX is advertising speeds of 50 Mbps to 150 Mbps to its beta program participants.
In a more recent filing with the FCC, a petition to adjust the orbits for the remainder of those 4,425 satellites, SpaceX said that they are currently able to provide 100 Mbps and will in the future be able to provide 10 Gbps!
Elon Musk also tweeted recently that by the end of this year speeds would double to 300 Mbps. Many beta testers, myself included, are already seeing top speeds in that range.
My prediction is that this year SpaceX will complete the first orbital shell of the constellation with about 1600 operational satellites and Starlink will exit beta, becoming available to the general population with minimum speeds of 100 Mbps and maximum speeds of around 300 Mbps.
Then, as the constellation fills out to that 4,425 number over the next couple of years, minimum speeds should increase and maximum speeds will probably reach the promised 1 Gbps mark.
But 4,425 isn’t the end of the constellation, just Phase 1. Phase 2 will add another ~7,500 satellites and later extensions could see the constellation grow to as many as 42,000 satellites. These later satellites will be newer more capable versions and that combined with their sheer numbers could lead to those promised 10 Gbps speeds.