Starlink pre-ordering in at least 18 countries; keen interest reported in Canada

15 Feb 2021

Pre-ordering for SpaceX’s Starlink low-earth orbit satellite internet service is proving popular across rural areas of Canada, where the advance offer was recently opened up to all potential customers, according to reports from local news websites including ITWorldCanada and iPhoneInCanada. In Canada, the Starlink Satellite internet package requires a one-off hardware purchase costing CAD649 (USD511) including a satellite dish, with monthly fees of CAD129 per month, and those pre-ordering must pay a CAD129 refundable deposit. Expected connection speeds in Canada are roughly up to 150Mbps download/25Mbps upload, with unlimited data usage. Pre-orders do not guarantee service delivery, which may take ‘six months or more to fulfil’, with a commercial service launch target window of ‘mid-to-late 2021’ across both Canada and the US.

As reported by CommsUpdate last week, a Starlink submission to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) noted that ‘over 10,000 users in the United States and abroad are using the [Starlink beta] service today.’

According to a list compiled by Reddit users, Starlink has also opened pre-orders in countries including Mexico, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Norway (all with a mid-to-late 2021 commercial launch target as per North America) plus South Africa, Iceland, Costa Rica, Hungary, Ukraine and Morocco (all expecting services in 2022). SpaceX has also launched a Starlink trial in Spain ahead of an official launch expected in Q3 2021, Bandaancha.eu reported, while SpaceX/Starlink also has subsidiaries registered in Austria, Argentina, Brazil, France, Chile, Colombia, the Netherlands and the Philippines.

In certain countries, Starlink may face regulatory delays. In Thailand, the National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) issued a statement highlighting that Starlink had yet to obtain a telecommunication business licence or permission for providing satellite services in the country, despite reports of a launch planned for 2022, MGROnline wrote. Elsewhere, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued SpaceX a satellite operating regulatory permit ‘subject to review and extension pending SpaceX’s launching of its full constellation of 4,408 satellites.’

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a recent Tweet that Starlink will make an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of its shares once the company ‘can predict cash flow reasonably well’.

Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine, National Broadcasting & Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), SpaceX (Starlink)