New SpaceX Starlink Dishes Get Greenlight from FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted approval for SpaceX to operate two new models of its Starlink dish, including a more compact version. The decision was made public on Tuesday, allowing the company to deploy the hardware across the United States.

The smaller dish measures 0.29 meters (11.4 inches) by 0.25 meters (9.8 inches), roughly the dimensions of an Apple MacBook. This is a significant reduction from the current consumer-grade Starlink dish, which measures 20.2 by 11.9 inches, reports PCMag.

According to SpaceX’s application to the FCC, the new dish will be portable and designed to “allow consumers to enjoy the benefits of high-speed, low-latency broadband wherever they live or work, including in rural and remote areas where mobile or portable applications are necessary.”

The second approved model aims to cleared a “high-performance solution for consumers,” with dimensions of 0.57 meters (22.4 inches) by 0.36 meters (14.7 inches). Both new models are compatible with first- and second-generation Starlink satellites.

While the application did not disclose pricing or potential speed improvements, it stated that the new generation of user terminals would “provide even more benefits to American consumers.”

The FCC’s approval is limited to “fixed” or stationary use of the Starlink hardware. SpaceX had also applied for clearance to operate the dishes on cars, planes, and boats, but the FCC has yet to make a ruling on this, amid opposition from Dish Network over interference concerns.

SpaceX has not announced when the new hardware will be available for purchase. However, the company began offering a new Starlink “Gen 3” Wi-Fi router to select subscribers just a week after receiving FCC approval in July.