Don Joyce, a Nokia director working from home at a remote lake cottage in Canada, recently abandoned his painfully slow phone-line internet in favor of satellite broadband service Starlink, offered by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Starlink, which cost him C$600 dollars (US$486) for hardware and a lofty C$150 monthly subscription, provides “blindingly fast” speeds when uploading videos or streaming movies, he said.
But the beta test customer said he experiences dropouts during calls on Microsoft Teams and Zoom. “If you’re in the city and you have alternatives, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you’re in the country, like in the middle of nowhere and you’re getting pathetic internet service, then it’s definitely a competitor.”
For billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk – founder of electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc – the success of one of his biggest bets may come down to just how many people like Joyce are out there.
Musk on Tuesday is expected to discuss Starlink’s progress in a speech at the Mobile World Congress telecommunications event, an audience with a lot at stake in the fate of Starlink. If the service is successful, it could vastly expand the reach of broadband internet around the world, connect Tesla vehicles, and even provide a new platform for traders and others with exotic internet needs, people familiar with the Starlink plan said.