In response to a request from Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for satellite-based communications to assist the nation to withstand the Russian invasion, Elon Musk revealed his Starlink satellite service is now operational in Ukraine. There are “additional terminals in the way” for Musk’s Starlink service, which has officially gone live in Ukraine.
When Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukrainian Minister of Digital Transformation begged Musk to extend Starlink facilities to Ukraine days after it had been overtaken by neighboring Russia, the tweet occurred around 10 hours after the request was made.
“While you try to colonize Mars — Russia try to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space — Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations,” Fedorov tweeted at Musk.
“Sane Russians” should be urged to stand out against their president’s invasion, he said.
Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 26, 2022
Musk responded to Mykhailo Fedorov’s plea on Saturday by tweeting that more Starlink terminals are on their way, although he did not specify how they would arrive. As a key backup during calamities, Reuters reports that satellite technology may deliver internet access in regions where fiber optic cables, as well as cellphone towers, do not. We expect to put thousands of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites into space.
Since Russia began military activities in Ukraine on Thursday, internet monitoring company NetBlocks has reported “a series of substantial interruptions to internet access” in the nation. A network of thousands of Starlink satellites would be launched into space by SpaceX, establishing a low-cost internet service replacement to land-based networks that are susceptible to disruption. After the devastating tsunami in Tonga this year, the businessman contributed 50 satellite terminals to help restore internet service. On Friday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from the California coast with an additional 50 satellites aboard.
Internet speeds may theoretically be provided to huge parts of the earth with this constellation of linked spacecraft. As of yet, SpaceX has delivered over 2,000 of these satellites, including more than a hundred satellites in two different missions this week. A total of almost 4,000 satellites will be in the constellation when it is completed. Because Starlink is in low-Earth orbit instead of geostationary orbit, it provides faster speeds (since the signal wouldn’t have to travel as far) compared to other satellite internet providers.
Starlink clients need a station, which is a tiny satellite dish that catches the internet connection to join. Beta testing of the service is already underway, and it’s an intriguing but pricey offering. Download speeds of roughly 100 Mbps run at an expense of $100 per month (plus an additional $500 for the terminal), which is significantly quicker than the service available in many rural areas of the United States.
It hasn’t worked because the terminal “switches” between satellites, and there have been outages and inconsistent connections.