zoom in on Elon Musk’s successor in ADSL

With its Internet space offer, SpaceX wants to offer a connection to white areas with speeds of up to 150 megabits per second and latency of less than 20 ms.

Starlink is an internet space project by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk. Powered by commercial aerospace company SpaceX, Starlink aims to provide high-speed internet connectivity around the world through a constellation of 42,000 satellites in low orbit by 2027. Launches are slowly taking place. In February 2018, two prototype satellites were launched and since then the satellites have been orbiting in batches of sixty. A total of 26 launches were conducted between the start of the project and May 2021, i.e. 2,000 satellites deployed 550 kilometers above the Earth. With this project announced in 2015, Elon Musk aims to mesh the skies to offer fast Internet access (up to 1Gb/s) at low latency (less than 20m/s), specifically in digital deserts. With the satellite Internet offer, Starlink will have to face competition from Kuiper, Jeff Bezos ’upcoming project, and its 3,200 satellites. The founder of Amazon is not the only competitor: the English OneWeb project has already been launched and Facebook has also announced its ambition in this area.

In France, Starlink has had the green light again since June 2, 2022. Arcep was able to provide two frequency bands to Starlink to connect its satellites and its French end users. Arcep has launched a public consultation to give this green light, and be able to provide a solution to the approximately 4,000 French subscribers, who have subscribed to the offer, which will be available from May 2021.

To access it, interested parties must register for the service on the Starlink site, indicate their address (which cannot be changed) and order a small dish with a tripod to be installed in their home at an open area.

The quality of reception depends on the relay stations. Only one installation is so far allowed in France at Villenave d’Ornon, in the Gironde. In France, three sites were originally intended to host satellite broadband Internet access service stations. Elon Musk’s project provided for the installation of nine antennas in Saint-Senier-de-Beuvron (Manche), as well as in Gravelines (North), to provide its spatial connectivity. Arcep confirmed their abandonment.

To connect to the Starlink network, the user must obtain the installation kit. The latter contains the modem, the router and the dish and is sold at 634 euros. Its delivery was invoiced for 71 euros. The subscription price, at 99 euros per month, has not changed in France but it shows 11 dollars more in the United States, raising fears of an increase coming to France.

SpaceX promises speeds of between 50 and 150 megabits per second, which is more than the 30 Mbits / s threshold required to move into the super -fast category in France.

In France, media outlet Les Numériques conducted “19 trials over three days at different times of the day that resulted in speeds of approximately 184 Mb / s at downlink speeds”.

There are more than 2,000 Starlink satellites deployed 550 kilometers in orbit above the Earth. SpaceX announced on January 6, 2022 that its Starlink satellite internet service has more than 400,000 customers in 36 countries around the world. Elon Musk’s company said Starlink’s user growth slowed because silicon shortages delayed production and affected orders.

Each Starlink satellite weighs only 260 kilograms. Their flat shape makes it possible to place 60 of them inside one of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets to put them into orbit. Each satellite includes a solar panel for its power, four antennas for Internet transmissions, lasers that connect them to four other satellites in orbit, and ion thrusters that use krypton gas to keep the them in orbit.

To connect to the ground network, the Starlink network requires ground relay stations. Equipped with electric domes and large antennas, they will rely in France in the frequency bands of 10.95-12.70 GHz to transmit a signal from space to Earth and 14-14.5 GHz to make the reverse path from the terminals of user.

Users should have a kit that includes the dish, a tripod to fix it and a router for data processing and connection sharing. This Starlink kit is sold at a price of 499 euros.

Notice to novice astronomers, satellites are visible to the naked eye at certain times. The Find Starlink site allows you to consult the visibility moments of satellites according to its position. During launches, it is also possible to see a series of small bright points that form a long white trail.

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