The first of many scheduled installations of SpaceX satellite-based broadband system in Asia, Starlink, has launched in Japan.
The company announced the launch in a tweet earlier this week ( on 10 October 2022 to be precise), adding that the service is now accessible in Japan’s north. From now till the year ends , SpaceX intends to extend to the south and the island of Hokkaido.
According to Nikkei Asia, the service costs JPY12,300 ($84.46)(€86.38) each month, with the essential equipment costing JPY73,000 (€512.69).
SpaceX tweeted a map indicating companies plans to expand Starlink’s availability into South Korea and Malaysia in the first quarter of 2023.
According to CNN , Starlink is also collaborating with the Philippine government on a countrywide rollout by June 2023.
Starlink has also been in preparations to expand their service to India, the second most populated country in Asia, but regulatory approval is still pending.
In terms of China, Asia’s most populous country, SpaceX seems to be avoiding the country. Musk told The Financial Times that the Chinese government has “sought assurances” that he will never sell Starlink in China. The reason for this is because an unregulated Starlink might assist local Chinese individuals in evading the country’s severe censorship. Some Chinese scholars have also encouraged the government to devise methods to eliminate Starlink, believing that it poses a military threat.
Starlink’s expansion into Asia is crucial because the satellite internet service is currently a financial loss for SpaceX. Elon Musk, the company’s CEO, tweeted earlier this month “Should be noted that Starlink is still far from cash flow positive.” All LEO (low-Earth orbit) communications constellations to date have gone bankrupt, so any support is super helpful.”