SpaceX’s Starlink has launched about 1,800 satellites into orbit, and according to a new statement from the company’s president, the company could reach global coverage as soon as September.
On Tuesday, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said that Starlink expects it will be able to offer global coverage with its satellite internet, though the company will still need to obtain regulatory approvals before offering its service worldwide, according to Reuters.
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During a virtual conference, Shotwell said, “We’ve successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like September timeframe.” Shotwell continued, “But then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms services.”
Rivaling satellite internet company Viasat has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke SpaceX’s Starlink funding, while the agency asked the FCC just one week earlier to halt SpaceX’s satellite launches. While Viasat has claimed unfair treatment towards SpaceX, the company is almost halfway to its goal of launching 4,400 satellites total – expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
SpaceX has also talked to a number of airlines about providing Starlink in-flight Wifi, following last year’s satellite internet tests conducted aboard gulfstream jets.