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  • Marijan Hassan - Tech Journalist

SpaceX unveils backpack-sized ‘Starlink Mini’ satellite internet antenna

SpaceX has unveiled a new addition to its Starlink satellite internet service: the Starlink Mini. This portable antenna, small enough to fit in a backpack, is designed to bring internet connectivity to remote locations or users on the go.

The Starlink Mini boasts a significant size and weight reduction compared to the standard Starlink antenna. Weighing just over two pounds (1.13 kg) with the kickstand, it's about 60% lighter than its bigger brother. This portability makes it ideal for campers, hikers, or anyone who needs internet access outside traditional coverage areas.

While details are still emerging, SpaceX has revealed that the Starlink Mini will offer download speeds of around 100 Mbps with a latency of 23 ms. This falls short of the standard Starlink's capabilities, but it's a decent option for basic internet needs like browsing the web, sending emails, or even video conferencing.

The initial rollout of Starlink Mini appears limited. Early Starlink adopters received the opportunity to purchase the Mini for $599, slightly more expensive than the standard dish. Additionally, a dedicated "Mini Service" plan is offered at $30 per month, with a capped data limit of 50GB.

The introduction of Starlink Mini marks a strategic shift for SpaceX. By offering a portable option, they cater to a new segment of users who may not have found the standard Starlink setup suitable. This could include disaster relief teams, journalists in remote areas, or even casual users seeking internet access during outdoor adventures.

Future Potential

While the Starlink Mini presents exciting possibilities, some questions remain unanswered. The availability of the Mini Service plan and its limitations require clarification. Additionally, it's unclear if the Mini will be offered as a standalone purchase to non-Starlink subscribers in the future.


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