SpaceX is offering a new, smaller, lighter and rectangular dish to Starlink constellation of internet-beaming satellites: Should new subscribers buy the new or old, circular dish?

SpaceX Starlink satellite internet rectangular dish
Rectangular or Circular? Pic credit: Starlink

Starlink, the company that beams internet directly from satellites to homes, is offering a new, smaller, lighter, and peculiarly rectangular dish. SpaceX assures there’s no difference in performance, but won’t alter the pricing.

SpaceX is now offering a new Starlink dish with a rectangular design. The design and build of the new dish might just benefit Starlink more than it does the customers or subscribers of the internet from space service.

SpaceX has been offering older, bulkier, and circular dish to early adopters:

Starlink has been one of the fastest-growing companies in recent times. SpaceX owns Starlink and claims the service is the best option for remote areas of the world.

Basically, Starlink claims it can reach where wired Internet Service Providers or even Cell Towers cannot or will not go. SpaceX has sent around 12,000 satellites to the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and plans to send thousands more.

The company has been selling a circular dish to its early adopters. The first iteration of the dish has a diameter of 23.2” (@59 Cm) and weighs 16 lbs. (7.3 Kg.).

Starlink charges $499 for the complete kit, which includes the dish, mounting hardware, a Wi-Fi router, and all the cables users would need. Subscribers pay $99 per month.

Currently, Internet speeds from Starlink satellites vary between 20 Mbps to 150 Mbps. Starlink has assured that it is constantly improving speed as well as lowering latency.

Incidentally, the original Starlink dish cost $3,000 each. This means the company was selling at a loss. The production cost has come down to around $1,300 in recent times.

Starlink receives regulatory approval for a new dish design and immediately starts offering the same to new subscribers:

SpaceX had filed a new application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a smaller dish, which just received approval yesterday. The company quickly put the new product up for new subscribers.

Starlink notes that the rectangular dish comes with a new 3 x 3, MU-MIMO router. However, the router lacks an ethernet port. SpaceX is offering a separate ethernet adapter for purchase.

The new dish ships with new mounting options, including poles that attach to the side of houses. Similar to the old model, the new one also has a simple vertical mount, using which, subscribers can mount the dish directly on a flat roof. Simply put, the new model offers more flexibility in finding unshaded areas.

The new, rectangular and lighter dish costs the same as the old, circular, and bulkier dish. However, it is not clear if Starlink will offer both options to new subscribers.

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