Elon Musk says Starlink has now made one million satellite terminals

SpaceX's Starlink has manufactured one million end-user terminals, but download speeds have slowed in recent months.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Shutterstock

After launching another batch of 52 Starlink satellites on Saturday, SpaceX chief Elon Musk announced that the company has manufactured one million Starlink terminals.

The one-million milestone has been achieved less than two years after Starlink began taking pre-orders for the satellite broadband service in February 2021.

Starlink originally cost $99 a month for the service and $499, plus tax, for the Starlink Kit, comprising a satellite dish terminal and a Wi-Fi router. As of September 2022, Starlink starts at $110 per month with a one-time hardware cost of $599. 

On Saturday, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying 52 more Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit. There are now over 3,000 Starlink satellites in orbit

Earlier this month, Musk said Starlink was now available across Earth's seven continents after a test of its service in Antarctica. 

Starlink became available in Malta in September, making the service technically available in 40 countries. 

Also: What is Starlink? Everything you need to know about Elon Musk's satellite internet service

SpaceX hasn't given a current update on how many subscribers it has. However, in a May filing to the Federal Communications Commission it said it had 400,000 subscribers globally – up from 250,000 a few months earlier.

Some of the terminals are for consumers, but the company is also making inroads into enterprises via deals with the likes of cruise operator Royal Caribbean, which plans to install Starlink fleet-wide by the end of the Q1 2023, as well as Hawaiian Airlines and Microsoft's Azure Orbital Cloud Access service.

The company has also shipped thousands of terminals to Ukraine since activating the service in February, to keep the nation's internet running amid Russia's physical and cyberattacks on its internet infrastructure.

But Starlink download and upload speeds have slowed, in part due to the popularity of the service. The FCC recently canceled a nearly $1 billion award to SpaceX for its program to patch up regional broadband. It cited slower download speeds in recent months.

A report from Ookla last week said Starlink speeds slowed down across the globe in Q2 2022. In the US, Starlink's median download speed in Q2 hit just over 62Mbps, down from just under 90Mbps a year ago.

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