Sat. Dec 2nd, 2023
Starlink Introduces Third-Generation Terminal Hardware for Higher Performance

Starlink, the global constellation of broadband satellites operated by SpaceX, is unveiling its third-generation terminal hardware for home users. The new equipment promises improved performance and durability for customers subscribing to their standard plans.

Starlink currently operates a network of approximately 5,077 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, with plans to add around 7,500 more by the end of 2027. In the UK, customers pay £75 per month, plus £449 for the standard home kit and £20 for shipping. The “Standard” Starlink package offers low latency times of 25-50ms, download speeds of around 25-100Mbps, and upload speeds of 5-10Mbps.

The good news is that Starlink has updated its website to showcase the third-generation terminal equipment, which promises better performance at a lower cost. The new hardware includes a larger dish that provides a wider field of view (110°), an improved IP67 rating for environmental protection, and a simpler manual orientation function. The new dish requires an unobstructed view of the sky to receive signals.

Additionally, the new router features Wi-Fi 6 support and is a tri-band device, providing faster and more reliable connectivity. It also includes two Gigabit Ethernet ports, eliminating the need for adapters, and has an improved IP56 water resistance rating.

However, there are a few drawbacks to consider. The new router is not compatible with third-party mesh systems, limiting users to Starlink’s Gen 2 and Gen 3 Mesh nodes. The new dish consumes more power, ranging from 75-100 Watts, which may increase electricity bills compared to traditional routers used in fixed-line broadband connections.

Starlink’s third-generation terminal hardware offers promising improvements for customers. The larger dish, upgraded router, and enhanced durability contribute to a better user experience. As SpaceX continues to innovate, they are also preparing to launch their prototype Starship rocket, which could potentially be used to deploy the larger Gen 2 Starlink satellites in the future.