Key to Starlink’s expansion in to the maritime and aviation mobility markets is the ability to deliver service off-shore. The first generation of satellites did not include the necessary inter-satellite links (ISLs) to support that level of connectivity. More recent launches, however, do include ISLs. And in less than a year the company expects to have enough in orbit to be able to deliver coverage anywhere on earth.
As part of its pitch to sell maritime services (priced at $5,000/month for up to 350Mbps), SpaceX published an updated coverage map. Today that coverage is defined by proximity to terrestrial coverage shorelines. At some point in Q4 2022 the map shows coverage expanding in two large bands around the globe. One covers from approximately 16 degrees north to approximately 58 degrees north. This includes a decent chunk of the Caribbean, as well as flight paths from the US east coast to western Europe. It should also cover routes between the US mainland and Hawaii, critical for supporting the company’s deal with Hawaiian Airlines.
A second band covering the southern hemisphere from the pole to approximately 32 degrees south should also come online in the same timeframe. In Q1 2023 the company anticipates completing its global footprint of ISL-enabled satellites.
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