SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that internet service company Starlink has crossed the “strategically important threshold” of 69,420 active users and noted that the company will enable global coverage by August except for the polar regions. The tweet comes a week after Starlink company president Gwynne Shotwell said the internet service could see global coverage by September.
“Starlink simultaneously active users just exceeded the strategically important threshold of 69,420 last night!” Musk tweeted adding, “All 72 orbital planes activate in August, plus many other improvements, enabling global coverage, except for polar regions, which will take another 6 months.”
A verified Twitter user @StevenCravis asked why the number 69, 420 was strategically important. Musk did not reply to the tweet. However, the 69,420 points at the rapid deployment of the satellite Internet system since February when it was at 10,000 users. Another Twitter user, @flcnhvy, asked when would airline Wi-Fi become available to which Musk replied saying, “Focusing on 737 and A320, as those serve most number of people, with development testing on Gulfstream.”
Musk has also referred to 69,420 in October 2020 in a different context when he said that Tesla Model S would be available at $69,420. “The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled. Model S price changes to $69,420 tonight!” Musk had tweeted. Readers also speculate that the number holds significant importance to Musk since he was born 69 days after April 2 or 4/20.
Earlier this month Starlink company president Gwynne Shotwell said the internet service could see global coverage by September. Shotwell acknowledged that Starlink has unfinished regulatory work that the company needs to get approved to provide services in that country. Starlink, which is available for pre-orders in India for $99 is roughly above Rs 7000. Users can check the availability of the service by typing in their city and postal code.
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“We’ve successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like September timeframe,” Reuters quoted Shotwell who was speaking at a Macquarie Group technology conference via webcast. “But then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms services.” Starlink currently offers beta services in 11 countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Europe. SpaceX’s goal is to launch around 42,000 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit by mid-2027.
Last month, SpaceX during a webcast announced that Starlink broadband has received over 500000 pre-orders. The company initiated the pre-orders earlier this year for a $99 refundable deposit. Musk has previously noted that Starlink will be “probably out of beta this summer.” A report by CNBC noted the development citing Starlink which had noted that a $99 deposit is refundable. However, it does not guarantee service to these users.
Source – IndiaToday