SpaceX Starlink promises 20ms latency, good enough for competitive gaming

Posted on Wednesday, Mar 11 2020 @ 10:45 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
SpaceX logo
Besides revolutionizing the car market, Elon Musk is also hard at work to lower the cost to access space. While the long-term goal is to colonize Mars, one of the near-term revenue drivers of SpaceX will be the Starlink satellite network.

At the moment, it's hard to get excited about satellite Internet but Starlink is a completely different beast. Starlink will use thousands of small satellites that are placed into low Earth orbit, which will result in low latency.

Musk revealed this week that Starlink will offer "real-world performance" that will be a game-changer for a lot of areas that currently do not have high-quality Internet. The satellite Internet service promises a latency of under 20ms, with Musk stating it will be good enough for competitive gaming:
For starters, Musk made a pretty ambitious claim about Starlink's real-world performance -- he said that, in rural areas, the latency should be below 20 milliseconds. According to the CEO, that would be enough for "fast-response" gaming at a competitive level, which isn't too far off from the truth, though many pro gamers would argue that sub-10ms latency is ideal).
Musk didn't reveal bandwidth numbers but promised Starlink will be good enough to watch "high-def movies" and "do all the things you want" without noticing speed.

It was also clarified that Starlink will not compete with traditional Internet service providers. Musk said that if you currently have a gigabit Internet connection from AT&T, Google, or a local provider, Starlink will not be able to compete. He explained that Starlink will even benefit other telecommunication firms, as it will enable them to reach the "3 to 4 percent hardest-to-reach" customers at a relatively low cost.



About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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