Monday, June 24, 2024

Elon Musk’s Starlink satelllite service gets federal approval

Federal authorities have given a satellite internet service owned by business magnate Elon Musk permission to operate in Mexico.

The Federal Telecommunications Institute (IFT) granted Starlink Satellite Systems México authorization to send signals to and receive signals from satellites that provide coverage to Mexico.

The company, which was only recently established here, sought authorization on April 2, and the IFT granted it on May 28, the newspaper El Economista reported.  It set a period of 180 days within which Starlink must be ready to offer its satellite internet service, meaning that the company will have to begin operations by October 28.

The IFT permit allows Starlink to operate for an initial period of 10 years. The company can seek to extend its authorization by additional periods of 10 years, provided it meets requirements set by the IFT. Starlink currently offers satellite internet service in parts of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Service at speeds of 1 Gbps cost US $99 per month in the United States. It was reported earlier this year that the cost will be the same in Mexico. Service will also require the purchase of a Starlink hardware kit, which will cost $499 plus shipping.

Starlink’s internet service is currently supported by some 1,800 satellites, but its network is slated to grow to 12,000, which will allow worldwide expansion.

According to reports on the quality of the service in the U.S. and Canada, the system offers much improved latency — 18 to 19 milliseconds —than other satellite systems. Latency is the time it takes for the signal to travel from a computer to a remote server and back.

Two other companies have also recently received permission to operate internet services in Mexico. One is Elektra Satelital, another satellite internet service, and the other is Claro TV, which could rent satellite capacity to Starlink, according to El Economista.

With reports from El Economista 

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