Elon Musk’s first Starlink connections in Greece
It’s only a matter of days for the “green light” for the trial operation of Elon Musk Starlink satellite internet in Greece, to turn on. The Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) for the licensing of satellite internet systems is on the way to its publication in the Official Gazette, as the cycle of signatures is completed.
Essentially, the publication of the JMC will “unlock” the test mode, which will start, as planned, in the coming weeks by a small group of users. Then, at the end of November and the beginning of December 2021, the equipment will be sent to those who have made a pre-order. It is reminded that pre-orders are available from Startlink in various European countries, including Greece, from Spring.
The JMC provisions will regulate the licensing of standard antennas that will be used by companies such as Elon Musk’s, in order to be installed in consumers’ homes. This will concern a one-time licensing, so that each citizen does not need to “run” the process separately, as the Deputy Minister of Digital Government, Mr. Theodoros Livanios, had recently told a press conference.
The difference between the “satellite dishes” of the internet and the usual satellite TV is that they are both receivers and transmitters. This is one of the key regulatory issues that needed to be addressed before Starlink began shipping equipment boxes to our country.
It is noted that the equipment required for connections with Starlink Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites is not cheap at all, since in the pre-order it costs 500 euros. There is another issue that remains to be resolved and concerns the status with which it will be given to the subscriber, how the cost will be amortized and who will be the final owner.
The start of the initially limited test connections is expected in the coming weeks, while this equipment will be sent to those who have pre-ordered within the year. Of course, the fact that the lack of processors internationally causes problems in the delivery of equipment to the US and other countries where the service is available should not be left out of the equation. So a reversal in the scheme can not be ruled out.
Ground station in Greece within 2022
The next bet for Starlink in our country will be, according to information, the creation of a ground station, which will send the data to the company’s satellites. This is the difference of the new service, in relation to what is valid on the satellite internet until today. Starlink utilizing an array of low-orbit satellites promises a stable connection at high speeds, but also extremely low latency.
During the first period, the service will use ground stations that it has already developed in neighboring countries, but in the second phase, probably within 2022, it will create a ground station in Greece as well.
As Elon Musk himself has noted, Starlink is essentially targeting “white” areas, ie those that remain outside the coverage of fixed and mobile networks. This, he said, concerns 3-5% of the planet as a whole.