With Starlink’s potential expansion to Bangladesh, the future of high-speed internet connectivity looks promising, ushering in a new era of connectivity and access for all.
SpaceX, the US-based company founded by Elon Musk, has revealed its intent to launch its satellite internet service, Starlink, in Bangladesh. Key officials from the company held meetings with two government entities in Bangladesh to discuss the possibility of bringing the innovative internet service to the country.
As Starlink is set to launch an internet connection service in Bangladesh, it will connect geographically isolated (hard to reach) or disaster-affected populations with uninterrupted high-speed Internet. The proposed initiative could potentially revolutionize internet connectivity in remote and underserved areas, providing high-speed internet access through a constellation of satellites.
Last year, Starlink initiated pre-orders for its satellite internet service in 32 countries, which are:
- certain parts of the US
Notably, Bangladesh also made the list, delighting local enthusiasts.
According to the official Starlink website, the satellite internet service was slated to commence operations in the specified countries, including Bangladesh, by 2023. As official discussions are currently in progress, the possibility of having Starlink internet in our homes draws closer. The prospect of enhanced connectivity and improved internet access looms, heralding a new era of connectivity for Bangladesh.
What is Starlink?
Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has captured widespread attention on the global stage. With its ambitious vision, the initiative seeks to revolutionize internet connectivity by providing high-speed access to even the most remote and underserved areas around the world.
Starlink’s innovative internet connection is enabled through cutting-edge overhead satellite dishes, accompanied by routers, which are provided to all subscribers of the service. Users are empowered to set up these devices independently, and as per the company’s assurances, they can enjoy an uninterrupted, high-quality broadband connection directly from signals transmitted from space.
In addition to its groundbreaking satellite dishes and routers, a Starlink subscription also grants access to a user-friendly Android/iOS app. This app is specifically designed to assist users in finding the perfect location to mount the satellite dish. As the dish plays a crucial role in receiving satellite signals, Starlink recommends installing it in an open space, such as a rooftop or a backyard, to ensure optimal performance and connective.
Starlink in Bangladesh: What’s happening?
As SpaceX officials engage in discussions with Bangladesh’s ICT Division to potentially launch Starlink internet in the country, the lack of concrete information has left many wondering about one crucial question: Is Starlink truly coming to Bangladesh? The anticipation and speculation continue as stakeholders eagerly await further updates on this transformative possibility.
Recently, Joel Meredith, Manager for Global Government Affairs at SpaceX, and Parnil Urdhwareshe, Manager for Global Licensing and Activation engaged in significant meetings with top officials from the Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited (BSCL) and the ICT Division. The discussions mark a crucial step in exploring potential collaboration and opportunities in the satellite and technology sectors.
“They expressed their intention to operate in Bangladesh and that is why, they came here,” stated Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.
“However, whether they get approval is for the government to decide. It would be a tough decision though as local mobile operators and internet service providers (ISPs) already provide data services,” Shahjahan Mahmood added.
In an evening meeting, SpaceX officials convened with top representatives of the ICT Division in Bangladesh. During the gathering, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, the state minister for ICT, shared exciting news about the allocation of two Starlink devices.
Palak disclosed that one of the Starlink devices will be deployed at the Sheikh Russel Digital Lab, situated in a remote area where high-speed internet is currently unavailable. The second device will be used in a mobile bus dedicated to women’s empowerment initiatives.
Impressively, the ICT Division conducted initial tests by setting up one of the devices’ antennas on their rooftop. Throughout a 1.5-hour testing period, the connection remained stable at an impressive 150mbps speed.
Palak further revealed their plans to explore the potential benefits of Starlink’s connection for residents in isolated regions, including islands, chars, and remote areas. The initiative also targets students attending marginal schools.
For a comprehensive assessment, the devices will undergo three months of testing, including monitoring performance during adverse weather conditions such as rain and fog.
The ICT Division’s proactive approach towards evaluating the capabilities of Starlink reflects their commitment to addressing connectivity challenges and exploring innovative solutions for improved internet access across Bangladesh.
Starlink to provide high-speed internet for Bangladesh
As Starlink’s arrival in Bangladesh nears, a potential revolution in high-speed internet beckons for the country, especially in remote and underserved areas. According to reports from Starlink’s website, users worldwide have reported impressive typical download speeds ranging from 25 to 220 MBPS, with the majority experiencing an average of over 100 MBPS. Meanwhile, upload speeds are said to be consistently around 5 to 20 MBPS.
During the initial pre-orders, the website required a $99 deposit fee for service addresses in Bangladesh. However, the latest report indicates that Bangladeshi officials will also be in discussion to explore the possibility of special pricing options for this exciting new internet provider, raising hopes for accessible and high-quality connectivity for all.
Expanding satellite internet to 70+ countries, including Bangladesh
Starlink, the renowned satellite internet service operated by American aerospace company SpaceX, has gained global recognition for its ambitious project. Presently, SpaceX provides satellite internet coverage to more than 70 countries with about 4,519 Starlink satellites currently in orbit.
With the trial run underway in Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is actively engaged in assessing and evaluating the service. Once the trial run concludes, BTRC will collaborate with Starlink to establish the pricing for the much-anticipated service in the country. This development holds the promise of enhanced connectivity options and better internet access for Bangladesh’s citizens, contributing to the country’s digital transformation.