On Oct. 11, Japan became the first Asian nation to acquire Internet access from Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite system — the brainchild of Musk’s SpaceX company.
The widening network of SpaceX’s satellites is slowly enveloping the world, with many more nations expected to receive access by 2023.
Starlink in Japan
According to a service map from Starlink’s website, Japan’s northern regions, including the capital city of Tokyo,are now receiving Starlink’s coverage. It is hoped that the rest of Japan, including its southern areas and Hokkaido, will receive Starlink’s signals by the fourth quarter, Bloomberg reported.
South Korea is expected to start acquiring access to Starlink by early 2023, with other Asian nations following closely behind.
Last year, Starlink signed an agreement with Japanese carrier KDDI Corp to give high-speed internet to 1,200 remote mobile towers.
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Plans are in motion to give remote islands and mountainous areas access to the Internet for a monthly service fee of $84, Nikkei reported.
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Starlink on the rise
Starlink is Elon Musk’s massive plan to provide the entire world with broadband internet, using an intricate network of satellites to cover the globe, even in remote areas with limited connectivity.
The company successfully launched its 32nd rocket in July 2022, breaking its previous record made in 2021 with 31 launches. The latest rocket carried 46 Starlink satellites, expanding its network and broadening its range of countries that can have access.
Starlink’s service shows that it has taken over a majority of the U.S, along with many Western and Eastern European countries. In South America, a good portion of Brazil and some western regions have acquired access to Starlink. Australia is also almost engulfed by the network, however its northern regions have yet to gain access.
Starlink will not be available in select countries like Russia, China and Iran.
On Wednesday, it was reported that SpaceX is seeking a permit to launch its services in India, becoming the third company to request such a permit, the Economic Times reported.
SpaceX is also planning to make in-flight Wi-Fi available to aerial travelers. However, the company is facing issues with certain policies, including one by the Federal Communications Commission made in August, which refused to provide a grant to give rural areas access to broadband internet.
The FCC reported that the grant “failed to meet program requirements and convince the FCC to fund risky proposals.”