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USA | Aug 17, 2022

Elon Musk’s Starlink heads to Latin America

/ Our Today

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Starlink owner Elon Musk. (File Photo: REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

Starlink, the satellite internet company owned by billionaire Elon Musk, plans to launch operations in Latin America.

The company is set to provide satellite Internet services to more than half-a-dozen countries across Latin America, reports Nearshore Americas. The news comes months after Starlink launched its services in Chile.

The SpaceX subsidiary recently obtained permission from telecom regulators in Colombia and Peru to offer its services. Media reports say the firm will expand to Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Paraguay and Panama by the end of this year; and Bolivia, Costa Rica and Guatemala by 2023.

Established in 2019, Starlink has a fleet of more than 3,000 low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites, far more than most of its rivals such as Viasat and HughesNet. In addition, LEO satellites increase Internet speed.

Nearshore Americas says Starlink can provide an average download speed of 142Mbps, compared to 10.6Mbps by HughesNet and 16.3Mbps offered by Viasat. In Chile, the company has been able to provide an average download speed of up to 119Mbps.

However, satellite Internet is far more expensive and less reliable than fibre optic cables. Starlink reportedly charges US$99 per month, plus US$549 for the satellite dish and a router.

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