In case you didn’t know, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has a satellite broadband service that’s called the Starlink. SpaceX has deployed over a thousand small satellites in low earth orbit which promises to provide high-speed internet access with significantly lower latency compared to existing satellite providers.
Starlink is currently running as a beta service in select markets. Beta users can expect speeds of 50Mbps to 150Mbps with latency of 20-40ms. That’s rather impressive as the latency of typical satellite broadband is around 500ms. There’s also no data caps during the beta program.
Beta Starlink customers will receive a kit that consists of the Starlink receiver, wifi router, power supply, cables and mounting tripod. By default, the mounting tripod allows you to install it on the ground level but there are options for roof installation. As reported by The Verge, the equipment costs USD 499 (about RM2,020) while the monthly subscription fee costs USD 99 (about RM400).
In Malaysia, the service is still not available and it is scheduled to be available in 2022. Interestingly, they are now allowing Malaysians to order by placing a full refundable deposit of USD 99 (about RM400) on their website.
If you’re interested to signed up, do note that it isn’t clear if Starlink has received approval to operate as an internet provider in Malaysia. To provide a commercial broadband service, SpaceX would need to have a Network Facility or Service Provider license (NFP/NSP) from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
At the time of writing couldn’t find Space X or Starlink on the MCMC’s licences register. This is important as such services are regulated and it is to ensure that it doesn’t cause any interferences to existing wireless services. Consumers are also likely required to apply for an Apparatus Assignment (AA) before they can install the dish at their premises.
We’ve also reached out to the MCMC on the status of Starlink in Malaysia. We will update this post once we have received more details.
At the moment, the main satellite broadband provider in the country is MEASAT’s ConnectMe which currently offers download speeds of up 30Mbps. ConnectMe will soon offer faster speeds up to 100Mbps once they launch MEASAT-3d which is currently scheduled for 2022.
For home users, ConnectMe is priced at RM198/month for 60GB of quota and RM298/month for 100GB of quota. To address connectivity issues in rural areas, there’s also a prepaid-based ConnectMe Now service which requires zero upfront cost and users can subscribe via prepaid vouchers.
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