SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet service is growing with a newly launched premium price tier. CEO Elon Musk tweeted the news early Wednesday, touting Starlink Premium as a service with a scan array that's twice as big as the standard offering.
It comes with higher download speeds of 150-500Mbps and latency of 20-40ms, according to the Starlink website, and the company says the system is built to withstand extreme weather conditions. The service also comes at a premium cost of $500 a month, notably higher than the $99 a month for the base Starlink service.
You can now place orders, with deliveries starting later in 2022, according to the Starlink.
SpaceX began its global rollout of Starlink satellites in 2020, and according to Musk, the company has shipped 100,000 units to customers worldwide. Branded as a high-speed broadband internet service, Starlink uses a network of interlinked satellites that sit in low Earth orbit, sent aloft by SpaceX rockets.
When Musk spoke at Mobile World Congress last June, he aimed to have 500,000 Starlink users within the year. One of his goals is to make internet connectivity easier for those living in rural areas and parts of the world where accessibility by ground is difficult. Though delivery has been a challenge in some regions, Starlink has ambitious plans to provide service to governments, small businesses and users engaged in everyday activities like gaming or communicating with a health care provider.
With the addition of the Starlink Premium, customers are promised access to 24/7 VIP-level customer service, better performance during outages and unlimited data. SpaceX describes the service as a prime choice for businesses and "high demand users." The premium plan requires a $500 deposit and requires a $2,500 kit that includes the satellite antenna, Wi-Fi router, base and cables. No contracts are required, but users should know that Starlink is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.