The Swift Headline infosite has published a news item regarding SpaceX — the company has unveiled a new rectangular dish that interested customers can purchase to tap into the company’s growing satellite constellation in LEO. This dish is a thinner and lighter weight option than the circular dish that Starlink beta users have been testing over the last year.
SpaceX launched the beta version of Starlink in October 2020, allowing users in certain geographical areas of the US to purchase the company’s starter kit, which included a 23-inch-wide circular user terminal — or dish — mounting equipment, a Wi-Fi router, and all the cables one would need. The buy-in cost was $499 for the kit and then $99 a month for coverage. Now, users have the option to buy this new rectangular dish instead, which is just 12 inches wide and 19 inches long. At 9.2 pounds, it’s nearly half the weight of the original 16-pound dish. However, the price to buy the rectangular option appears unchanged.
SpaceX had filed a new application with the Federal Communications Commission for a smaller dish, which just received approval yesterday. The 12-inch width notably matches the diameter of the antenna that rival internet satellite initiative, Project Kuiper, is hoping to build.
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