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SpaceX unveils backpack-sized ‘Starlink Mini’ satellite internet antenna for $599

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Starlink Mini promotional image.
SpaceX customer email sent June 19, 2024.

SpaceX is rolling out a compact version of its Starlink antennas, which the company is advertising as a mobile option for its satellite internet customers.

“Starlink Mini is a compact, portable kit that can easily fit in a backpack, designed to provide high-speed, low-latency internet on the go,” according to a customer email sent by SpaceX on Wednesday and viewed by CNBC.

The company is offering a “limited number” of the Starlink Mini antennas for $599 each in an early access release. That’s $100 more than the base model “Standard” antenna sold with its Residential service, although the company aspires to reduce the price tag.

“Our goal is to reduce the price of Starlink, especially for those around the world where connectivity has been unaffordable or completely unavailable,” SpaceX wrote in the email.

Starlink Mini promotional image.
SpaceX customer email sent June 19, 2024.

In addition to the upfront hardware cost, service for a Starlink Mini is effectively $150 per month — as SpaceX is offering the service for a Mini as an additional $30 per month bundle on top of a $120 per month Residential service. The “Mini Roam” service “can be used anywhere in the United States” but has a cap of 50 gigabytes of data per month, with Starlink charging $1 per gigabyte for additional data.

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The Starlink Mini antenna is about the size and weight of a laptop, at just over two pounds and measuring at about 12 inches by 10 inches by 1.5 inches. It’s roughly half the size and one-third the weight of Starlink’s Standard antenna.

SpaceX’s email said Starlink Mini comes with a built-in WiFi router and “lower power consumption” than its other antennas, yet it still boasts download speeds of over 100 megabits per second.

The email did not specify when Starlink Mini deliveries would begin. In a post on social media, Vice President of Starlink Engineering Michael Nicolls said the company is “ramping production” on Starlink Mini and that it “will be available in international markets soon.”

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote in a post Monday that setting up a Starlink Mini took less than five minutes.

“This product will change the world,” Musk declared.

SpaceX has steadily expanded its Starlink network and product offerings since debuting the service in 2020. There are about 6,000 Starlink satellites in orbit that connect more than 3 million customers in 100 countries, according to the company. SpaceX initially targeted consumer customers, but has expanded into other markets — including national security, enterprise, mobility, maritime and aviation — and disrupted the existing satellite communications sector.

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