Unlike online shoppers who use Comcast Xfinity or Time Warner, Starlink users should still expect a single price for unlimited online service.
This comes from SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell who discussed step-by-step pricing today (April 7) at the Satellite 2021 LEO Digital Forum. As reported by CNBC, Shotwell stressed that simplicity and transparency are the best so far, but her wording has not completely ruled out different pricing models in the future.
“I don’t think we will assign gradual prices to consumers. We will try to make it as simple and transparent as possible, so we do not plan to classify consumers at the moment, ”said Shotwell.
Still, Starlink is still at a very early stage. At the moment, the satellite constellation seeks to best serve the upper latitudes, meaning areas from Seattle, Washington and beyond.
“We still have a lot of work to do to make the network reliable. We still have crashes, not necessarily just because of where the satellites are in the sky,” Shotwell was quoted as saying by Jon Brodkin of Ars Technice. “We will stay until the network is reliable and excellent and something we would be proud of.”
Still, Starlink has a long way to go before it becomes profitable. According to Elon Musk, every past constellation of satellite internet has gone bankrupt. Musku’s main goal is to ensure that the service can be financially viable. It helps that SpaceX has managed to secure nearly $ 1 billion in FCC subsidies to help high-speed satellite internet in rural America. Even then, those $ 500 Starlink kits sell at a big loss.
According to Shotwell, Starlink satellite dishes at one point cost $ 3,000 to produce. SpaceX eventually managed to cut costs from $ 1,500, and has now “just released a new version that has saved about $ 200.” Even then, with $ 1,300, it is still a loss of $ 800 per set.
Currently, Starlink is mainly focused on America, Canada and the UK. And it is intentional in these early stages when SpaceX is still trying to solve any problems.
“I know that my constellation will be able to serve every rural household in the United States in five years,” Shotwell said. “We are doing these analyzes for other countries as well. Our focus is initially the United States because [customers] they speak English and are close. If they have problems with their food, we can ship it quickly. But we definitely want to expand this capability beyond the US and Canada. “