SpaceX has revealed a new tier for its Starlink satellite internet service with higher performance but prices that might make you cry, The Verge reported. Called Starlink Premium, it offers speeds between 150 and 500 Mbps with 20 to 40 milliseconds of latency, up to 50 to 250 Mbps with the same latency. Download speeds are also up, from 10–20 Mbps on the standard plan to 20–40 Mbps on Premium.
However, for about double the performance boost, you’ll pay five times as much. Starlink Premium will cost $500 per month compared to $99 per month for the standard plan. You’ll also pay $2,500 for the antenna and other hardware, compared to $499 for the basic plan, and you’ll need to leave a $500 deposit to reserve the Premium antenna.
SpaceX said the new service will work better in “extreme weather conditions” and customers will receive 24/7 priority support. This will likely be the only high-speed internet option available in many remote locations, where additional weather protection might come in handy.
SpaceX announced that Starlink would be coming out of beta last October and recently unveiled a new rectangular satellite dish much smaller and thinner than the original round one. The new Premium Antenna is apparently larger than that and is meant to “help ensure bandwidth for critical operations even during times of peak network utilization,” SpaceX said.
Starlink launched more than 2,000 satellites in mid-January, including about 1,500 in operational orbit. The current system is licensed for a maximum of 4,408 satellites, about three times the current number. If you’re interested in the Premium tier, orders are now open and deliveries are expected to begin in Q2 2022.
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