While most people mainly know the company due to its Mars ambition as well as its founder Elon Musk, SpaceX does have plenty of interesting projects under its wings. One of them is Starlink which aims to provide Internet connectivity throughout the world via thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit.
Years in the making, SpaceX kicked off the public beta test for Starlink in the U.S and Canada in October 2020 before moving on to other countries a few months later. Now, SpaceX has begun to accept deposit from those who are interested to be among the first to use Starlink in Malaysia.
We have learned about the deposit through a newsletter that came into our inbox which said that we can now place a deposit for Starlink. We originally registered our interest in the service sometime in the first week of February, just out of curiosity.
In the e-mail above, SpaceX noted that it may take a year or even more before we can actually utilise Starlink in Malaysia. True enough, Starlink’s website said that the service is expected to be here only in 2022 after we provided the general vicinity of our headquarters into the site.
In order to verify whether the 2022 rollout date is meant just for Kuala Lumpur or also in other parts of Malaysia, we have entered random addresses from other areas throughout Malaysia:
According to the Deposit Payment Terms on Starlink’s official website, the refundable USD 99 (~RM 401) deposit will be applied for the purchase of Starlink Kit once it is available for our region. The actual price for the kit has not yet been revealed for Malaysia although it cost USD 499 (~RM 2,022) in the U.S without including tax and shipping fees.
Meanwhile, the website has also stated that users can expect data speed from 50Mbps to 150Mbps together with a latency range of between 20ms to 40ms during beta period. It also pointed out that Starlink’s speed, latency, and uptime will improve as SpaceX continue to launch more satellites for the service and Elon Musk himself has tweeted earlier this week that the speed will soon be increased to around 300Mbps.
As a comparison, CONNECTme which is an Internet service run by local satellite operator, Measat provides a download speed of up to 20Mbps as well as 1Mbps upload speed. While the monthly fee in Malaysia was not revealed by SpaceX, the Starlink’s beta stage in the U.S carries a monthly cost of USD 99 (~RM 401) which is much higher than Measat who charges between RM 198 to RM 298 per month for CONNECTme.
However, we don’t have any knowledge regarding Starlink or SpaceX operation in Malaysia for the time being. In fact, we don’t know if SpaceX has actually received approvals or engaged with local authorities such as the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission in order to offer Starlink in our market.
We are now reaching out to SpaceX for further clarification but nevertheless, do check out Starlink’s official website right here if you want to know more about the new satellite-based Internet service.