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What is Starlink? Is that really why Musk launched Space X?

Musk has become the de facto operator of rockets for NASA. Space X vehicles cost approx 10% of the NASA-built alternatives of the past and have performed admirably.


The real business Space X supports, however, is a network of over 2,500 newly launched satellites that form the backbone of Starlink. Starlink is a Musk internet service that can provide speeds of 50-500 MBS/sec anywhere in the world. A huge game changer for folks who don't live near cable or strong cellular connections.


Starlink is a faster, better alt than other satellite internet options, although it's also more expensive. The Starlink dish is also much smaller (the size of a dinner plate). It can be used on campers and other mobile vehicles because it's self-orienting.


SpaceX Raises Starlink Prices for Some Subscribers

Company plans to boost some users to $120 a month, while those in areas with excess internet capacity will get a price cut


Starlink uses a fleet of satellites to enable what are designed to be high-speed internet connections.

PHOTO: REGINALD MATHALONE/NURPHOTO/ZUMA PRESS

By Micah Maidenberg, WSJ

Feb. 22, 2023 2:13 pm ET


SpaceX is adjusting prices for some subscribers of its Starlink satellite internet service, a move that will boost costs for some customers for the second straight year.


Starting in April, the price for Starlink service will rise by 9% to $120 a month for residential subscribers in areas where its service capacity is limited, the company said in a new email to some users. New subscribers in locations with limited capacity will pay the higher rate immediately, according to the message, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.


At the same time, subscribers in what SpaceX said are areas that have excess internet capacity will get a price cut, to $90 a month from $110, the message said. It couldn’t be determined how many users would receive price cuts versus increases.


Starlink, which uses a fleet of satellites to enable what are designed to be high-speed internet connections, grew quickly last year. SpaceX said in a tweet last December that Starlink had more than one million active subscribers. That was up from the 250,000 subscribers a company executive disclosed in March 2022 at an industry event.


“As the SpaceX team launches more satellites to increase capacity, the Starlink team is making continuous network upgrades to improve performance over time,” the company’s message said.


A spokesman for Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the formal name for the company, based in Hawthorne, Calif., didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.


The Elon Musk-led company raised prices for Starlink roughly a year ago, at least for home-based subscribers in the U.S. The company cited inflationary pressures to explain that increase, which took the monthly domestic cost of the internet service to $110 from $99.


SpaceX regularly launches batches of Starlink satellites to orbit using its Falcon 9 rockets, with more than half of those missions last year designated for such deployments. The 100 flights executives have said the company hopes to conduct this year will likely include a significant number for Starlink, analysts have said.


Other satellite-internet providers have been taking steps to expand offerings for customers seeking home connections.


Executives at Viasat Inc. told investors earlier this month that the launch of a new satellite in April would help it address bandwidth constraints in the U.S. that had affected its residential business. SpaceX is scheduled to handle that launch on one of its rockets.


Write to Micah Maidenberg at micah.maidenberg@wsj.com


Appeared in the February 23, 2023, print edition as 'SpaceX to Increase the Price Of Starlink for Some Users'.


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