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SpaceX’s Starlink Mini is an internet antenna that can fit in your backpack

starlink-mini

Image courtesy of @michaelnicollsx, VP of Starlink Engineering at SpaceX

SpaceX’s satellite internet is getting a lot more portable. The startup known for its space-powered Starlink internet program has introduced a mobile mini antenna that’s small enough to fit in a backpack.

In announcing the product on X, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote, “I just set it up right now and am writing this post through space. Took less than 5 mins. Easily carried in a backpack. This product will change the world.”

Musk followed up by posting a purported speed test for the connection. The test showed 100 Mbps download, 11.5 Mbps upload, and 23ms latency.

Also: The top satellite internet services compared: Starlink and alternatives

The Mini, which will cost $599, provides internet access anywhere in the US, SpaceX says, with a cap of 50GB of data for $30 per month. Usage beyond that cap will cost $1 per gigabyte. The company did say, however, that “our goal is to reduce the price of Starlink, especially for those around the world where connectivity has been unaffordable or completely unavailable,” so it’s possible that $599 is an early-adopter price.

The device weighs just over two pounds and measures 12 inches by 10 inches by 1.5 inches, which is only a little bigger than a piece of paper (but much thicker, of course). Starlink Mini is significantly smaller and lighter than a regular Starlink dish, and uses a lot less power. If you’re concerned about keeping Starlink Mini safe outdoors, you should know that it’s designed to work in temperatures from -22°F to 122°F and is IP67 dust and water-resistant.

SpaceX says it’s selling “a limited number” of the devices for early access release in the US. At the moment, it’s only available to select customers via an email invitation.  

If you’re interested, there is a small catch. SpaceX is only offering Starlink Mini as an upsell for customers with Starlink residential service. You can’t purchase the Mini without already being a customer, at least in the US. In other countries where the Mini also launched (Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Panama), that requirement doesn’t seem to be in place.  

If you often find yourself in places without a cell connection, the Starlink Mini has huge potential. If it remains tied to an existing residential account, however, that’s going to be a barrier for a lot of people. 


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