According to a recent tweet by Elon Musk, it seems that Space X’s Starlink internet service is expected to exit beta next month. This was revealed in response to a question from a user who asked when the service would no longer be in beta. Assuming they meet that deadline, it would also mean that Starlink has been in beta for about a year.
SpaceX started to send out email invites to Starlink’s public beta back in October 2020, so come October 2021, it would have been a year that the service was in testing. For those who are interested, SpaceX is actually taking pre-orders for Starlink where it will cost $99 for an initial deposit, which is fully refundable if you decide you don’t want to wait or can no longer wait for it to reach your area.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 17, 2021
According to SpaceX, they claim that there are about 100,000 users who are currently using Starlink’s services in over a dozen countries from more than 1,700 satellites. However, scaling up beyond that could pose a problem. Musk had previously stated that he expects the first 500,000 people will most likely be able to get service, but once that number gets into the millions, it will become harder.
At the moment, SpaceX has a license from the FCC to launch 12,000 low-orbit satellites, and are seeking permission to launch an additional 30,000.