According to information released by CNBC, Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet company, is preparing to offer its internet services in Latin America. The company already operates in the United States and will also expand in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Starlink’s satellite internet service is mainly focused on rural areas, where it is more difficult for the fiber optic services of most companies to reach and where it is not profitable to create infrastructure due to the small market.
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For a world united by the Internet
SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, has launched an ambitious project to improve the Internet connection in the most remote areas of the world, with the challenge of lowering the latency to 20 ms. Currently, the satellite internet service has a latency of 600ms.
To decrease latency, Starlink’s satellites orbit 550 km from Earth, which is well below the distance of other satellite services such as Viasat, whose satellites orbit 35,000 km from Earth.
In September 2020, it had already put 700 Starlink satellites in orbit and by the beginning of 2021, it already had more than a thousand satellites. The company’s goal is to create a system of twelve thousand satellites that allows the Internet to be offered in the most remote areas of the world. By 2024, it expects to have already set 4,000, an extremely ambitious goal if we consider that there are currently 5,000 satellites in orbit, with more than half of them out of operation.
Impact of satellite internet in Latin America
A reliable satellite internet system will positively impact Latin America, where the Agrotech industry has great growth potential. Combined with technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, the connection in the field will allow better monitoring of the field and will boost crops.
The group of satellites will allow the integration into the knowledge society of populations that until now had been marginalized due to the difficulty of developing infrastructure at these sites.
Starlink’s effort is not unique in the world and other alternatives have been explored, such as hot air balloons or smart drones.
In which Latin American countries will Starlink operate?
So far it is known that Starlink began procedures to operate in different Latin American countries such as Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil.
The reports are not yet official and are based on the requests that the company is making in these countries. The prices that the service will have are not yet known, but in the beta tests in English-speaking countries, the monthly cost is $ 99 dollars, in addition to $ 499 dollars for installation cost. This makes the service slightly more expensive than traditional Internet packages. However, in rural areas, it would be the only option available.
In the beta test, Starlink assures that it will offer internet with a speed of 100 to 150 Mbps and a latency between 20 and 40 ms.