Changes may be in store for SpaceX’s Starlink Network. The satellite internet system will be released from beta next month, according to CEO Elon Musk.
Musk made this statement in a Tweeter Friday. But as of yet, he hasn’t said what the end of the beta phase might mean for Starlink.
Nonetheless, the release of the beta version generally signals that a service is stable and ready for wider deployment. Starlink currently serves 100,000 users in a dozen countries, including the United States. However, the system has a backlog of over 500,000 users who are still waiting to try satellite broadband service.
One problem facing the service is that the ground-based satellite dishes required to connect to the Starlink network have been expensive to manufacture. The company currently produces around 5,000 Starlink dishes every week, which means it would take two years to close the current backlog of users.
Fortunately, SpaceX is preparing to restart production. The company has developed a next-generation Starlink satellite dish, which it can produce in “multiples” of 5,000 each week.
The end of the beta may also signal speed increases for the service. The official Starlink website currently states that beta users can expect data speeds “of 50Mb / s to 150Mb / s and latency of 20ms to 40ms in most places.” However, Musk himself has promised Starlink’s speeds will get even faster and hit 300Mbps later this year.
Additionally, Starlink’s latency will drop below 20 milliseconds, which will make it capable of playing competitively, Musk previously said.