Starlink latency is quite good. LEO is a lot closer than GEO (less than ~1000 km* vs 35786 km.) SpaceX actually intends to compete with terrestrial systems on latency; many important routes will have significantly lower latency than any feasible terrestrial system.
Remember, fiber isn't latency free. It isn't even speed of light. It's about 70% SOL. Radio, on the other hand, is SOL (or so close it doesn't matter.) So there is a cross over point where the latency of a LEO satellite system is actually superior despite the uplink/downlink path.
*depending on which orbital "shell" is involved. figures range from 340 km to 1200 km.
There are plenty of non-technical consumers who have had a very unwilling education in what latency is and how it differs from speed.
We could use objective reporting of internet speeds in finer detail. Any ideas?
--HughesNet's average latency is now 62ms, 58 ms jitter,--
--That's quite reasonable.--
And that's assuming perfect conditions and ignoring the rest of the normal latency encountered online. It's physically impossible to have a latency lower than ~480ms with geostationary satellites.
t=0 You send out ICMP request
t=120ms it hits the satelite
t=240ms it arrives at the ground station, ICMP reply occurs
t=360ms hits satelite
t=480ms arrives back at the originating machine
1) You're pinging a device on satellite in GEO (one you don't have LOS to)
2) You're pinging a device that's also connected via a different GEO 120 degrees away from the first
in this case you'll
t=0 You send out ICMP request
t=120ms it hits the satelite
t=240ms it arrives at the ground station 1
t=280ms arrives at ground station 2
t=400ms hits satelite #2
t=520ms arrives back at the destination
t=640ms response arrives at sat #2
t=800ms response arrives at ground station 2
t=840ms response arrives at GS#1
t=960ms response arrives at sat #1
t=1080ms response arrives back at originating machine
t=0 You send out ICMP request
t=120ms it hits the satelite
t=355ms hits satelite #2
t=475ms arrives at destination
t=595ms response arrives at sat #2
t=830ms response arrives at sat #1
t=950ms response arrives back at originating machine
I'm afraid you are drastically underestimating how much it actually costs to install fiber.
Regarding the 3rd world, Facebook offered India free internet with strings attached, and IIRC they rejected it. That idea wasn't too popular there or here.
Would Musk be given a pass for offering discounted or free internet to 3rd world countries, and what strings would investors suggest he attach?
Why would he want to do that? Facebook wanted to do that, because that would drive more users to their platform. SpaceX wants to use Starlink in order to bankroll BFR, so what they want is to simply sell the service at a price point that generates them enough money. It's not beneficial to them to discount it, make it free, or play other shenanigans.
 - Or whatever it's called now; it'll always be the BFR in my heart.
Because granting internet fast lanes to certain content providers is a way to generate revenue.
Zero-rating is already happening .
If money is your only goal, that's completely rational. However, that's not how I've typically heard people champion Musk. He's been lauded as a progressive person whose aims are meant to serve humanity, not merely his wallet. Supposedly.
Some would make the argument that if everyone worked with only their wallet in mind, we'd be better off. I wouldn't.
> Elon seems to be more idealist than most
Elon is not an idealistic engineer, he is a businessman. He actively misleads about products he must have been told will not meet the timelines he promotes.
> about the fate of humanity
Not sure where you get this idea. The way he talks about AGI taking over the world is creepy. He thinks it's inevitable, nevermind that we have no idea how to design anything close to AGI.
That said, internet already tends to be the infrastructure demand best satisfied in developing countries. Building cell phone towers is much easier than building roads, and with cheap labor and no purchasing power comes cheap internet.
Let's see whether it is net-neutral internet or not, then judge. My guess is it will have exclusive offers to content distributors in order to lower cost.
I think your parent also meant the developed world.
In devloping countries it's sometimes much easier to get fibre. No or very little infrastructure means no old copper wires lying around. You can go fibre instantly this way.
Every satellite internet offering targets rural settings, ships and planes. StarLink is no different, just that they will be competitive in a wider range of such settings.
We need to do both, as Seattle has proven with its sporadic availability of gigabit fiber and the shutdown of third parties attempting to bring it here.
In fact, doing the latter IS doing the former.
I'll throw stones as much as I like, thanks.
Due to the mandatory client base skew, the city is causing them to redline middle and high income areas of the city. Fiber is in Georgetown and Rainer Valley, but your SoL in Fremont's built up areas and in Sand Point.
Universal coverage should have been mandated, but its easy to end up like Kenmore (which required total Fios coverage from Verizon, now Frontier) and has seen Finn Hill go unserviced for years. Enforcement of the franchise contract is just as critical as initial negotiation.
Outside of a few select areas, most of Seattle only ever saw ADSL (or no DSL in parts of the north end) as we didn't allow large VDSL2 cabinets in the public ROW. I think this has caused Centurylink to build fiber in the city, as they've rarely overbuilt VDSL2 areas like Bellevue, Kent & Auburn.
Nope. I live square in the middle of it, can't get double digit mbps download speeds from them.
I've noticed they seem to offer ADSL (6mbps) after 6pm or so at addresses that already have fiber, presumably their prequal database for fiber goes offline for a few hours a day.
They say it's available just a few blocks over. That's been the case for a long time and they can't seem to get it about 0.25 miles further. Been that way for years.
It threatens the existing entrenched providers everywhere. They can't hide from it. They will have no choice but to respond. They face a scenario losing tens of millions of access customers over time to this approach. And the existing options are priced so high in the US, it provides a big fat margin opportunity for Starlink & Co. to target (and ride for the benefit of paying for the buildout).
We had to go to space to route around the cable oligopoly, beyond their local crony jurisdictions.
Also can you support the premise that their customers would be concentrated in major metros, when the biggest beneficiaries will be outside of metros where broadband options are drastically worse (which is why the primary market for HughesNet the past two decades has not been concentrated in major metros).
Access providers in metros can soundly compete with Starlink. They'll lower prices, increase speeds, improve bundles, etc. Their infrastructure and customers are already in place there, they won't just ignore Starlink, they'll compete. That heavily limits the upside potential for the Starlink concept in metros. It's everwhere else, mostly lacking any real broadband, that Starlink & Co will face minimal competition and will particularly lure customers. It's why HughesNet still has over a million customers today.
I've seen a lot of people claim - with very little supporting evidence thus far - that the market is extremely limited due to capacity restraint.
While you're proving out your claim, if you don't mind given that you've got a strong handle on the market ceiling, please provide what you believe to be the maximum subscriber potential for Starlink - and the approach in general - in the US over time.
The MIT work linked in this thread calculates a total worldwide capacity in the ~20 Tbps range for Starlink.
Yes, life is a great teacher.
HughesNet sends me a post card every quarter or so. Sure I live in the middle of nowhere and would seeming be likely to want it. What makes me laugh is even the old people in the area who you'd think wouldn't know how to use a computer will warn friends, neighbors and community not to use them. They may not know the term latency, but they know that the quality of calls are poor and they know uploading videos from their phones takes way too long.
LTE may have put a dent in that model though.
In addition you’ve usually got only 1-2 networks in deep rural.
Source : I run an MVNO.
I think this would only be true if internet gamers weren't a thing, but they are, and they'll care.
Many games are not as latency sensitive as you think - people used to play over modems!
Granted users in rural areas are likely the most apt to benefit from this service and those users don't likely fantastic internet to begin with. However, if SpaceX markets this to areas with decent quality internet they're likely to get a bad reputation for "crappy" internet.
Here’s an interesting parallel; how much say does any child have in the cell phone plan that a family uses? Probably damn close to 0. That’s a decision that the parents make on their own, and dictate the rules of usage to their children. I suspect that internet service will remain that way as well.
fortnite v-bucks default gift for birthdays, displacing the movie gift cards
racking up hundreds of dollars worth of v-bucks per year
getting family to buy a Samsumg S10+ so they can reap the associated "skin" to their Fortnite account
graphics cards upgrades
(expensive) gaming mice and other gear pushed by youtubers
general merch like toys
Now these services advertise to adults with children, such as being able to call your kids whenever with the unlimited cell phone plan, but that’s still advertising to the adult, not the child.
What did make it impossible for me to get kills was having 30 ms of latency in my display system. I think the network latency is well-compensated (if the typical user has 50 ms of latency, just delay me by 20 ms) but the display latency kills me. When I switched to a different monitor I started playing much better in about five games.
I think the game generates a 10 MB log for a 30 minute session so the bandwidth requirement is not much.
I had the same experience playing Titanfall earlier; in that case turning on the "Game Mode" on the TV turned me from someone who couldn't win at all to somebody who could get halfway up the ladder.
If you're interested in how different TV's perform, segregated by their individual input ports (in cases where some ports are optimized) and modes, check out https://www.rtings.com/. I used it a couple years ago to pick out a good 4k TV as a monitor, and the very thorough information helped me pick out something that works well as a computer monitor (and also for the occasional gaming).
How does 30ms of display latency affect LoL gameplay? I don't play it, but I've seen videos of it a few times and with it not being a FPS I wonder what aspects of the game are that greatly affected with an additional 30ms of display latency.
Mind you, any mouse lag drives me up the wall. I've never measured at what point I perceive that mouse lag, but it's a fairly low number I'm sure.
Now that I play real time sports, and I'm no professional, it still makes a big difference in my enjoyment of the game when I'm playing at home with ethernet and top tier internet service vs playing at my parent's house on wifi and basic internet. The lag can really affect my ability to play my best and it sucks losing because you don't have a low latency connection.
That said, I'm very curious to see what the latency will be, because if it's within a reasonable range it could be acceptable. Either way, I don't think even casual gamers will have a significant impact on their sales, but it will have some if the lag is too great for some of today's games.
It still adds up to sub-100ms latencies. It ain't bad.
 - https://www.reddit.com/r/Starlink/comments/9wrkhm/starlink_l...
terrestrial internet goes through optic fiber in which the speed of light is maybe half the speed of light in a vacuum. Already HFTs use microwave links to shave off a few milliseconds between New York and Chicago. From Boston to Seattle the extra 600 miles up and down from the constellation would be overcome by the fast path along that route.
Note that requires switching from one satellite to the next, not the "bent pipe" architecture to your local rent seeking wireless company that StarLink and other LEO constellations plan.
What's your source for this? According to my quick search, it's typically 0.66c - 0.76c while researches have reached 0.99c.
Only a solid marketing campaign can deal with this problem.
The moving satellites will lead to the latency of all packets being the same, but vary over many minutes.
The bad jitter is the stuff that varies on a packet to packet basis.
Theoretically 56 Kbit, but practically closer to 40 Kbit. I'm being serious! Given the choice between hugely expensive and high latency satellite Internet and dial-up, many have opted for dial-up, even in this day and age! We're not even talking that far away from urban centers, either, especially in hilly areas. A couple hour's drive outside of San Francisco is enough to get to cell-phone network dead spots, never mind LTE. There are some hyper-regional wireless ISPs using 802.12-based gear (Uniquity), but those are the exception.
Given that, (which is so extreme that I'm sure that not everybody that reads this will even believe me), any competition to HughesNet will be very welcome. Prior to SpaceX, the cost of getting a constellation of satellites into orbit was prohibitively expensive, but with this being done by SpaceX, the launches for this will be done "at cost", (corporate accounting and cost centers notwithstanding). (Which, mind you, is still several million dollars per launch in rocket fuel.)
Hopefully that means a genuine competitor to HughesNet, but that's a low bar. There is a large initial investment (of time and money), but FCC approval is an important first step towards providing this service.
Isn't this going to improved with 5G? Verizon already has plans to offer 5G internet at homes in 10 cities by end of this year.
Satellites still are in space, so everything is more expensive up there, getting things up, repairing things, building things for space, operating things in space...
How can it be worse than literally all I can get?
Gamers and nerds of various kinds will worry.
Sorry for this shallow comment but I've read the title several times now, my mind races to the same thought:
>...to sell wireless high-speed internet from space!
"I wish them wild success, it's promising to see the opportunity for disruption of our telcom mafia as wireless comms tech evolves, but selling internet from space... total horseshit! Success or not, most space internet subscriptions will be sold from a call center in India." /s
I enjoy watching this technology as it moves to become an available option. The article is 9 sentences of an information scarce announcement, but as is often the case, I returned here to find plenty of useful information in these comments. Interestingly, ATSC 3.0 which is packet based and already overflowing with DRM now looks to be nearing a consensus. As early as 2020 (US) it could prove to satisfy enough content distribution traffic to reduce some downstream bandwidth demand and relieve congestion. SpaceX in partnership with ATT or CenturyLink for dedicated up-link over DSL would be an interesting offering.
Also at like 04:00 in the morning? :- )
If the target server is far away and the signal goes 7000 km from satellite to satellite in space before coming back down, then your signal it will need at least 46.7ms more in space for a 14km round trip in space, which results in a minimum possible ping of 60ms to ping a server 7000 km away. Fiber-optics are 30% slower than radio links, so this 60ms minimum is 10% lower latency than the best fiber-optics can do: (7000 km / .7 speed-of-light) = 66ms
If the distance to your server is 2.333x the distance to your satellite you will have lower latency with radio than fiber optics. Bringing the altitude of the satellites down will make a big difference, but you also need a lot more of them in a constellation to have low average distances.
The difference in latency won't be nearly as bad as a naive comparison of these two numbers would suggest. Depending on what hops your terrestrial traffic is going through, the satellite transmission could well be faster. To give you a trivial example, I'm seeing 11 ms ping right now to a server within my own city, that's only a couple miles away. This is ~0% signal transmission delay and ~100% switching delay.
But I don't see why it's relevant. Forwarding in modern ISP routers is on the tens to hundreds of microseconds level, even if there are many hops it does not add up to that much. So what he has is likely not "switching delay", and even saying that 11ms is 100% switching delay when it's the same city (low amount of hops even if multiple ISP's are involved) is just ridiculous.
Took that number (it was for one way trip though) from memory, might be scrambled. Just checked, RTT 17ms with 3ms jitter for me.
22ms RTT is still too much though. Even with centralized network for cross-border traffic like in my country, there are IXs way closer than those 1500km to any town on european part and obviously to the East of Urals (the longest distance between IXPs is ~3000km for Krasnoyarsk-Khabarovsk, the longest distance to the closest IXP of 1500km have Norilsk - the most northern city on the globe and it's satellite Dudinka).
edit: fixed some english.
I don't think Elon is counting on gaming to be the backbone of this service.
I thought that the US servers for most games are in the middle of the country to get the best average ping for a cross-country audience. Blizzard is like Chicago and Texas.
Assuming terrestrial lines travel as the crow flies, which is not all that likely (but probably not too far off).
> At 200 miles up where they intend to put the satellites orbiting over major cities, it's going to be about 1000 mile round trip.
Other people here are noting that fiber signals travel at ~70% the speed of light, while radio waves travel at very close to the speed of light. If that's true, it puts the optimal time for land based optical communication at ~3.3ms ms, while the optimal time for a low orbit satellite at ~5.4ms (if I didn't screw up the math). That's slower, but not by a whole lot, so it might even be better than you're predicting.
Also, are people actually getting sub 4ms round trip times between Boston and New York? If not, then the difference here might be entirely subsumed by other factors.
1: 430 Miles / 186,000 M/s / 0.70 = 0.0033 s
2: 1000 Miles / 186,000 Miles/s = 0.0054 s
The majority of the population in the US is in the eastern half (1/3 in states on the East coast), so you don't actually decrease median latency by putting datacenters in the geographic center: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:United_States_popula...
Actually not too far away from the geographic center which is somewhere in Kansas.
edit - yeah I forgot about the endpoint then to the game servers data center
Maybe from me to a geographic location 400 miles away, yes. But what about 4k miles away, like coast to coast?
That would probably depend on how many satellites it has to bounce through and how far it has to travel terrestrial, but I would think there is a geographic distance where that 30ms is faster.
Bandwidth, not to my knowledge. As the nice paper above says its too speculative.
Imagine every one of those satellites running BGP!
A video link of a simulation was posted on a different comment that shows the "routing" between multiple satellites.
An interesting side effect of this network is that latency experienced by any two users, anywhere on the network, should be close to equal.
I think bandwidth limitations will be more problematic. The Earth is really big, and there's not really a good way with LEO orbits to focus your satellites over urban vs rural areas. IOW you can focus coverage on lower latitudes but not really certain longitudes.
IIRC previous FCC filings said each satellite would have ~20 Gbps of bandwidth. That'll be great if you're in a rural area, and I think the gigabit speeds some people are hoping for are actually possible in certain situations. However a lot of people think that they're going to be able to replace the Wifi router in their apartment with a Starlink antenna... I don't think that will be practical any time soon. I'm not an RF person but I doubt there's enough spectrum for each satellite to have tens of thousands of users simultaneously.
edit: also, like with 5G the signal quality is going to be crappier when it is rainy or cloudy.
It will be interesting to see if they geo-lock the base stations or will allow you to move them and then re-calibrate/re-register your location for load balancing.
I would like to see a framework, where the backend of a cloud system can migrate opposite to the direction of orbit, so the same virtual cloud server could remain (by 'hops' where it serializes a copy of itself, then fails over to the copy) more or less geostationary. Such migrations would happen as seldom as once per 10 minutes.
My game server cluster isn't too far away from having such a capability. (I was planning a variety of capabilities, such as using cheap GCP "ephemeral" instances by quickly failing over to such copies.)
The usual latency should be on the order of 30-40ms round trip.
Suddenly getting a 500ms latency every minute
No one said anything about that. The client should have some form of dead reckoning, and there should be an edge server that maintains connections. With the right kind of game mechanics, no one notices the server disappearing then reappearing behind the scenes. I cite 250ms as a worst case. It should be possible to get the impact as low as the server skipping one frame every few minutes. The clients don't need to skip any frames.
That's going to be a very expensive edge server!
I'll always grant that fast twitch FPS will always have a problem with this. That's not the genre I'm interested in creating games for, and it's not what my server framework is designed to support. (It is real-time action, but the pacing is more akin to RTS than FPS.)
An LEO satellite constellation has a bad urban/rural problem because most of the Earth's surface is ocean, uninhabited or uninhabitable. In the meantime, people from New York City and Detroit who hate their cable company will compete for network resources for people in the middle.
To take advantage of those thousands of satellites, subscribers will need to install high-performance phased array antennas that will probably cost at least $6000. There will be the capital costs for the space segment, also since the system is just a bent pipe to Verizon, AT&T or whoever your local rent-seeker is, they will take a cut.
Thus it is likely to be a very expensive service.
SpaceX is working on making a low-cost phased-array antenna the size of a pizza box, targeting $100-300.
Direct source is a presentation Elon Musk made in 2015, video linked in this faq:
Transcript for those who prefer text: https://web.archive.org/web/20150329174815/http://shitelonsa...
What is your source for that figure?
If it's military/aviation/naval phased array radar this is a very different use case. The targets are transceiving from well known locations, not maneuvering to reduce signature. The orbiting target is well above the horizon, not hidden in clutter. There are well defined frequency bands so high frequency agility is not necessary. There are no purpose built enemy jammers to overcome so extraordinary power levels or heroic filters aren't necessary. There are no afterburners or naval catapults to withstand.
About the worse case I know of with the bands involved in this system is rain fade or snow cover.
We already have MIMO beamforming transceivers at nearly disposable prices in the form of wifi routers. I think it's entirely feasible to develop a fixed function civilian phased array at a reasonable cost.
Anyhow, with any luck we'll know soon.
Also, I hear what you're saying but... Right now the Algorithmic traders all use fiber and new fiber is constantly being rolled out to support even lower latency connections so I'm skeptical - if it was competitive wouldn't G&S be using it to contact the London stock exchange? Or, is it that fiber can produce lower latency in idyllic scenarios but that congestion pushes the latency beyond that accomplishable by an LEO setup for us plebs?
They will, but no such satellite network currently exists. Right now, all of the satellite internet services are using satellites in high orbits. That means they can cover more of the Earth's surface per-satellite, and the satellites last a long time. This was necessary when rocket launches cost >$10,000/kg.
SpaceX is drastically lowering the prices of launching satellites ($1k-$2k/kg, Starship will probably be <$500/kg), and they are taking advantage of that by launching thousands of satellites into LEO (Low Earth Orbit). These satellites will have a 5-7 year service life, which will reduce the cost per satellite and allow for regular upgrades via replacement.
Newer hardware and lower altitudes means less latency and more bandwidth than previous satellites. It will definitely beat transatlantic fiber on latency, but bandwidth will be more limited.
Bandwidth is low, but latency beats fibre, and you can bounce microwave off the ionosphere between London and Chicago (and various other routes). This article doesn't mention the cross Atlantic transmissions, but it is possible, and does happen.
Disclosure: I have worked at several of the Chicago based firms mentioned in the linked Bloomberg article.
Edit: grammar, formatting.
I wasnt directly involved in any of the microwave networking, but ask me what you want and I'll answer to the best of my ability.
I'm super unfamiliar when it comes to this sort of hardware.
There is, but given the rise of the use of edge caching and edge compute for latency-sensitive applications, with edge locations located to optimize access to masses of users, that crossover is unlikely to be actually reached in many of the cases where latency is actually a concern, and Starlink is going to be stuck behind unless it is able to both get edge caching and edge compute on its satellites and get content/service providers to use it, and comsats aren't exactly optimal locations for that.
Latency of multiple seconds, like you can see in some places around the world, is much more frustrating than the kind of latency discussed wrt Starlink.
The lack of a close edge node is kind of interesting, though, so i’m not trying to dismiss your comment in the least.
I really, really think SpaceX Internet can do a lot of good. It may force competition. It may give internet access to many countries where it's not an option. It may even help fight censorship, or open the door to an alternative to the current internet network.
Lots of potential.
Is that accounting for recent developments in hollow core fibers?
>"The researchers successfully demonstrated the first high-capacity, low-latency data transmission experiment performed using a hollow-core fibre. In this, they found that light propagated 31 per cent quicker than in a solid core fibre, increasing from 70 per cent of its full speed in a vacuum to 99.7 per cent. To put this in context, this means that data propagating in this fibre would arrived 1.54 microseconds/per km earlier that it would in an equivalent length of conventional solid fibre. Not only did the light almost travel at its fastest possible speed, but it did so with a very low loss of 3.5 dB per kilometre."
No, it doesn't.
You're citing a story from 2013. Has this seen deployment in the field? I haven't found any evidence of this. That makes me wonder what is missing in this story.
It is still really an emerging research field, here's something more up to date -
But you can purchase it these days -
Also, I would think that the first transatlantic cable of this stuff might be kept pretty exclusive, given the economic opportunity presented by pissing around on the stock exchange.
edit - here's some more recent press from the Southampton lot - https://www.ses.ac.uk/2019/04/03/fibre-optics/
Standard solution to rain fade is to make sure you have a power budget and can ramp power when heavy rain starts.
~10 ms of additional latency isn’t wildly out-of-sync with real world latencies of ~40 ms within North America and ~70 ms across the Atlantic.  And if we factor in the ~30% reduction of speed of light in fiber, the delta might actually be less than ~10 ms.
EDIT: For more context, the old low latency fiber path between Chicago and New York was under 7ms, and current low latency radio solutions are under 4ms. SpaceX's solution is marketed as being "as low as 25ms".
There's use cases (high-frequency trading) where maintaining faster-than-fiver microwave links makes a lot of sense.
LEO - Low earth orbit (close to the earth)
GEO - Geostationary equatorial orbit (further from the earth, more efficient in terms of energy required to maintain a fixed position)
SOL - Speed of Light (a limiting factor in fiber optic communications - and over the air communications as well)
 From reading a bit, maintaining a fixed position relative to the ground at lower altitudes involves a constant velocity adjustment in the form of fuel expenditure - the equilibrium for each orbital period corresponds to a single altitude, so different orbital periods (when minimizing fuel usage) imply different distances.
Note that GEO satellites do carry fuel with them for "stationkeeping" - between errors in navigation, variation of Earth's gravity (due to it's irregular shape and composition) and influence of solar radiation and other celestial bodies, those satellites do have to occasionally and very slightly adjust their orbit to stay stationary.
GEO - Geosynchronous Earth Orbit
SOL - Speed of Light
There isn't any question about the type of antenna. The details have been filed with the FCC. The antenna will be phased array.
Obviously there is a high front loaded capital cost to developing a phased array transceiver for this system. The scale of the market, however, is vast; hundreds of millions of units. I believe the per unit cost of manufacturing these transceivers will be low due to this scale.
I can't know that however, so we'll have to wait and see.
Given the rates cited here (20 Gbps/satellite) I seriously doubt that 1 Gbps is going to be offered at a price level that allows it to be widespread. More likely we'll see service offered in the 10s of Mbps.
So the best we may achieve is some napkin level estimates. Let us assume 100 Mbps as a realistic subscriber rate. 12000 satellites * 20 Gbps/satellite * 100/1 over-subscription (typical, see here) / 100 Mbps = 240 million theoretical subscribers.
Obviously every figure here is open to endless dispute, but we're in the right order of magnitude. I believe this is the scale Elon is thinking at; he's trying to fund interplanetary space travel with this. In any case there will need to be a couple mountains worth of transceivers for the plan to work, and making fixed function electronics at that scale is typically highly cost effective.
"Cable modem and DSL providers often have a 100:1 or greater oversubscription ratio for residential users and a 50:1 ratio for business users."
This is a new market, not entering into an existing market.
> it might work
Are you an expert in this field? I'm guessing no based on this exchange...
You also didn't answer the question about your expertise, I'm assuming because your answer is, "No". Maybe leave the correcting of others to the actual experts...
Sure it is, if the hypothetical is pointing out a constraint on the boundaries of theoretical impossibility (or, in theory, if the hypothetical is itself possible to describe but theoretically impossible because of physical limits, though that doesn't appear to be the case here; there might be a theoretical lower limit on the size of a transmitter of the require power output or the supporting power system, but in theory there is no limit to the size of a satellite except the bound at which it becomes the primary because it's larger than the thing it is supposed to orbit.)
> You also didn't answer the question about your expertise
A careful examination of the thread will find that no such question was previously raised. There are more than two people on HN, so just because you get a response that doesn't make the person responding necessarily the person to whom you were responding. HN shows comment authors handles in case you ever need to know to whom it is you are responding, which you might want to do before attacking them based on assumptions about their identity.