(Pocket-lint) – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has been working on a satellite internet venture called Starlink, and he’s just revealed on Twitter that the service is ready to go “fully mobile”.
After securing nearly $885.5 million in grant funds from the US Federal Communications Commission in 2020, plus three years’ worth of successful satellite launches, Starlink has now surpassed 1,000 satellites delivered into orbit. It’s also begun accepting preorders from customers interested in joining the company’s “Better Than Nothing” beta program. As of February 2021, Starlink is serving more than 10,000 customers in beta. Soon, it will expand to customers who work in moving vehicles.
Elon Musk recently tweeted that Starlink terminals are too big for Tesla’s vehicles, but he noted they could work in planes, RVs, trucks, and ships.
Not connecting Tesla cars to Starlink, as our terminal is much too big. This is for aircraft, ships, large trucks & RVs.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 8, 2021
Keep in mind, currently, Starlink customers can’t even move their existing hardware from address to address. As a beta member, you must submit your location information at checkout and then stay put with the equipment. The Starlink satellite constellation simply isn’t fully built out, so coverage isn’t complete. The cost of Starlink service is billed at $99 per month, plus taxes and fees. There’s also an initial payment of $500 for the mountable satellite dish and router that you install at your home.
Elon Musk is suggesting a big change is on the horizon, however, as he also tweeted out that Starlkink “should be fully mobile later this year, so you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck in motion”. He said the company still needs a few more “satellite launches to achieve [complete] coverage and some key software upgrades”.
Yeah, should be fully mobile later this year, so you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck in motion. We need a few more satellite launches to achieve compete coverage & some key software upgrades.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2021
In other words, it sounds like Starlink will be out of beta by the end of the year. Pocket-lint will keep you posted as soon as we know more.
Writing by Maggie Tillman.