Starlink on mobile: not in Europe

Like Space X, which revolutionized the space launch industry, or Tesla, which turned the automotive industry upside down, Elon Musk is a champion of communication. Morning, afternoon or night. Summer or winter and regardless of the interval, confectioners in December or summer in August.

Back to a month of August with ads that still hide hares. First, the yoyo price. And I lower the prices to acquire customers in France (from 99 euros to 50 euros), and I increase the price of the antenna in the face of the worldwide shortage of electronic components, then I increase the price of the subscription in the United States .Unido (110 dollars instead of 99 dollars) then finally temporarily lowers it to 95 dollars. And I create a premium subscription with guaranteed speed of 500Mb/s against 500 dollars a month and 2,500 dollars for the hardware. And I announce that the basic subscription will be slowed down beyond 250GB of data. But I would add that the customer can recover their speed if they pay 10 euros more for each additional 100GB.

A pricing policy that has nothing to envy to traditional telecom operators, where specific clauses are sometimes more complicated to understand than the cruelest insurance contracts.

Wouters – Starlink 2-0

Also in early August, Belgian Lennert Wouters demonstrated once again at a specialist conference in Las Vegas how to hack Starlink receivers for less than $25… for those who find loopholes. What to do with it? Dreaming of being able to interrupt transmission and therefore communication, a strategic element of any revolution or war.

With “fixed” prices, the brilliant businessman learned bad news in mid-August: the refusal of the American telecommunications regulator to grant him US$ 900 million in public aid, with the FCC considering that the technology did not deliver the connectivity promised by the application file.

Before mid-August, its new project, bringing high-speed connectivity through a network of satellites, Starlink, was denied $900 million in public money by the US telecoms regulator, the FCC, which it deems the technology fulfills its promises.

The flow still far from the promise

Speed ​​is regularly derided, especially in the United States, where it painfully hits 50-150Mbps when the sky isn’t too cloudy or your receiver isn’t in a very dense area in housing – where a traditional fiber optic subscription remains a much better deal. , whether in terms of price or speed. Once again, promised, Starlink will reach 300Mbps by the end of 2022 with a latency of less than 20ms… announced Mr. Musk in January 2021, against 1Gbps announced at the origin of the project. Today, in France, when all is well, we are around 120Mbps.

Last point, mobility. If the ambition of the creator of Tesla and Space X was, like SES, OneWeb, Amazon Kuiper and others, to bring connectivity to those who don’t have it, Starlink offered, for 25 dollars, being able to move its antenna to another place than where the service is. charged…but only for two months. Good news for summer “nomads” who are the first to tell, to Musk’s delight, how they managed to connect, anywhere, from their parked van…

The story of these pioneers of mobile connectivity in areas poorly equipped with terrestrial infrastructure was combined, at the end of August, with a new loud and hesitant announcement: an agreement between Starlink and T-Mobile to offer connectivity via satellite and directly on their Smartphones. Well, it’s still the same project – providing connectivity where none exists – but within the framework of a marriage between an operator on the ground and an operator in the sky. And yet, for now, it will only be able to allow SMS with jet lag of up to 30 minutes, indicate the technical characteristics of the project. And this is not about Europe, T-Mobile replies to Paperjam… in telegraphic style.

All that’s left for Elon Musk fans in Luxembourg is to try and see the clusters of low-orbit satellites. Next ticket, this Thursday night at 9:38 pm.

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