Elon Musk is determined to colonize Mars and save humanity from robot warfare and World War III. But first, the internet. SpaceX wifi could be coming to your smartphone as early as next year. Gizmodo just found out that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized the futuretech mogul’s company to launch Starlink, the broadband satellite service that won’t just make the internet explode but change the way we even see internet.
Right now, you might have to rely on hotspots for free wifi. You know how frustrating it can be when you have zero bars between hotspots and have to choose between dead internet or astronomical data charges appearing on your phone bill later. While many people rage over that First World problem, there are areas that even the archaic dial-up services of the ‘90s wouldn’t be able to reach. Around 34.5 million Americans in rural areas and even in areas of some cities have no broadband access. Starlink will make that issue obsolete by turning entire sections of the country into hotspots.
Starlink will be a constellation of 4,425 low-orbit satellites (at least 800 of these will have to go into orbit before the system can take off) that will beam down a connection with radio frequencies in the Ka and Ku bands. That’s the 12-18 GHz and 26.5-40 GHz parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. It’s kind of like an upgraded version of airplane Wi-Fi with fiber-level speeds and without the extra charge.
“We appreciate the FCC’s thorough review and approval of SpaceX’s constellation license,” said SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell in a statement. “Although we still have much to do with this complex undertaking, this is an important step toward SpaceX building a next-generation satellite network that can link the globe with reliable and affordable broadband service, especially reaching those who are not yet connected.”
Next to making internet possible for those out of its reach, Starlink might just disrupt the internet business. The online business has been monopolized by the same few companies for way too long. Enter Starlink and that whole universe could change.
Will Starlink be the future of internet that Elon Musk is so optimistic about? There is no precedent. We do know Musk is always beyond full blast with whatever he does, if that epic Falcon Heavy launch was any indication.
Guess we’ll find out after Musk sends those 800 satellites into space.