SpaceX’s new Starlink satellite internet service is in one very limited beta testing period at the moment, but the company is already thinking ahead: as first noticed by CNBCSpaceX has filed with the FCC for Starlink components that allow the service to work on moving vehicles. Big moving vehicles, that is – Elon Musk tweeted that the existing Starlink terminals are too big for Tesla’s vehicles, and the idea is aimed at planes, RVs, trucks and ships.
Do not connect Tesla cars to Starlink as our terminal is way too big. This is for planes, ships, large trucks and RVs.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 8, 2021
This would be a big change for Starlink, which doesn’t even allow customers to move existing hardware from address to address at this point – if you can get into beta, it’s clear from the sign-up forms that the service is limited to location that you enter at checkout. That’s because the Starlink satellite constellation hasn’t fully expanded yet, so it’s not a permanent limitation, but it’s still a limitation, and one that Elon clarified again in a tweet today:
Yes, it should be fully mobile later this year, so you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck on the move. We need a few more satellite launches to achieve competitive coverage and some major software upgrades.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2021
I actually have a Starlink system that I am going to review The edgeThe upcoming Infrastructure Week – the promise of fast, reliable satellite internet that can compete with America’s various broadband monopolies is very enticing, but early testers have reported mixed results. (Which, again, Elon says it will improve.) Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!