The management of SpaceX on Reddit have answered few of users’ queries related to the company’s Starlink satellite-based internet service. Starlink is still in its first stage, and offers limited public data. Thus, the general public has some queries related to the service’s capabilities, its coverage, and future beta programs.
Since SpaceX is only in the early stage beta testing of the Starlink satellite-based service, coverage will not be universal. users that have signed up for the beta service and have received their user terminal can only use the service at the address that they have signed up with. But the company has promised that multiple service addresses will be available once software updates and more satellites are rolled out.
The satellites work by connecting with the user terminal then relaying this data to a ground station and then sending the data back to the terminal. It however affects speed and latency since an additional node is required for transmitting data. But SpaceX is planning to remove the need for a ground station in certain use cases. It will most likely happen with its launch of the company’s second-generation satellites with lasers.
According to representatives from SpaceX, the user terminal’s will also receive upgrades over the course. It will improve facilitating snow meltability as winter arrives and it can operate in temperatures as low as -30°C and exceeding 40°C.
According to sources, Starlink’s beta program in January will increase the number of users that will be able to sign up for the service. With the expansion of its beta service, Starlink will receive larger coverage areas.
Sources claim that users will have to make sure that the antenna’s view of the sky is unobstructed. It is due to the high velocity of the satellite traveling in low Earth orbit, and due to the limited number of satellites that are currently operational. The Starlink user terminal scans the sky after being powered up and then locks on to the nearest satellite. It then downloads the most up-to-date schedule once a connection has been established.