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Starlink working on lowering terminal costs

November 16, 2020

Would-be subscribers outside North America will have to wait some tome for access to SpaceX’s Starlink broadband-by-satellite system.

Starlink VP Jonathan Hofeller, speaking at last week’s Euroconsult World Satellite Business Week virtual edition, told attendees that as far as North America was concerned Starlink would stay as a ‘direct to consumer’ business. Starlink is already beta-testing its service in the US and Canada.

However, for other regions, Hofeller said that they might use distribution partners.

He explained: “Our plan was always to go direct to consumer for this vertical. The reasons behind that is that we can provide the most value directly to the consumer, we can get direct feedback, there is no filter. We can continuously improve our product by having direct feedback from them.”

Hofeller added that as the business grew and especially internationally SpaceX was keeping an open mind about potential relationships with third parties,” Hofeller said. “We are not closed to these types of relationships. We are just trying to make the right decisions for now.”

He also added that the $100 a month subscription fee plus the $499 charge for the terminal and antenna was likely to stay. Hofeller said that these prices would be adjusted to suit local international markets. However, he admitted that lowering the price of the terminal equipment was the company’s most difficult technical challenge.

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