Elon Musk’s SpaceX has unveiled a premium version of its “Starlink” broadband internet service that it claims is lightning fast — but it won’t come cheap.
Dubbed “Starlink Premium,” the top-tier version costs a whopping $2,500 for a WiFi router, antenna and tripod. Once the antenna is installed, the service will carry a monthly fee of $500.
Musk confirmed the launch of Starlink Premium on his Twitter account. SpaceX is currently accepting $500 deposits for the premium antennas, which are larger than those required for its basic service tier. The first deliveries are expected in the second quarter of 2022.
“Starlink Premium has more than double the antenna capability of Starlink, delivering faster internet speeds and higher throughput for the highest demand users, including businesses,” Starlink’s website says.
Starlink Premium provides a noticeable performance boost compared to the company’s basic service. The company notes subscribers can expect download speeds of 150 to 500 megabits per second, up from 50 to 150 megabits per second for the original.
The higher-end version is also much more expensive than Starlink’s basic tier, which carries a $500 equipment fee and $99 monthly cost.
SpaceX noted the new offering is aimed at “small offices, storefronts, and super users across the globe.” The company also noted the premium tier is “ideal for rural and remote locations,” with all service locations managed through one account “no matter how remote.”
The private space firm plans to launch a constellation of tens of thousands of satellites in the coming years to support the Starlink broadband internet service.
Musk has touted Starlink as an affordable source of high-speed internet for rural communities around the world, capable of serving areas that were unable to access or afford it in the past.
Starlink exited its beta phase in October 2020. As of January, the SpaceX service had more than 145,000 users in 25 countries around the world, according to CNBC.
Last month, Musk offered to provide Starlink internet access to the nation of Tonga after an undersea volcanic eruption and tsunami knocked service offline.