Gotta hand it to Elon Musk, the man has ambition. According a proposal unanimously approved by the FCC last month, Musk’s SpaceX company is building the Starlink satellite broadband network will launching the first of 12,000 satellites in 2019 with network services commencing in 2020.
SpaceX plans initially to launch 4,425 Starlink satellites into a low-Earth orbit followed by an additional 7,518 satellite at an even lower orbit. The first group of satellites will operate at an altitude of 1,110km to 1,325km and will form the backbone of the company’s Starlink broadband service. The additional satellites will circle the Earth at altitudes from 335km to 346km and will boost capacity and lower latency, especially in densely populated areas. Because of these low orbits, SpaceX says its planned Starlink broadband network will have latencies as low as 25ms and gigabit speeds that will rival existing cable or fiber optic systems. Not only will it be fast, but the Starlink network also will reach those areas that have poor or no internet connectivity.