Image Source : FILE Starlink Mini

SpaceX’s Starlink service, which has been in the news for providing internet from space, has been reportedly expanding its reach for backpackers. The telecom service will be available for van lifers, boats, planes, rural homes and Amazonian villages across more than 75 countries. And now Starlink is introducing the compact portable Starlink Mini for backpackers and travellers.

Starlink Mini- About

The Starlink Mini, which comes with a compact DC-powered unit which is around the size of a thick laptop, comes integrated with a Wi-Fi router, directly into the dish. Despite its smaller size and lower power consumption (when compared to other Starlink terminals), the new Mini router still delivers a speed of more than 100Mbps. 

As per Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, the Mini is incredibly easy to set up and takes less than five minutes, and he further believes that it will be a game-changer.

The new Mini router model takes around 20W – 40W on average, which is significantly less than the 33W – 62W by using the previous Standard Actuated dish with a separate AC-powered router. This efficiency means that a power bank like the Anker Prime with 27,650mAh (99.54Wh) capacity could keep the Mini running for 2 to 3 hours, while the smaller one with 10,000mAh (40Wh) portable batteries could power the router for more than an hour. 

The Mini requires a USB-C PD power source rated at 100W (20V/5A).

  • Physically, the Mini dish measures 11.75 x 10.2 x 1.45 inches (298.5 x 259 x 38.5mm) 
  • It weighs just 2.43 pounds (1.1kg), or 3.37 pounds (1.53kg) 
  • It includes the 49.2-foot (15m) DC power cable along with the kickstand
  • It boasts an IP67 rating
  • It ensures protection from dust and rain, to handle short-term water immersion too.

Where to buy?

  • In the US, the Starlink Mini is available as an add-on to Residential plans. 

  • Priced at USD 599, (which is USD 100 more than the standard dish), includes a Mini Roam service for an additional 30 dollars per month, on top of the existing USD 120 Residential plans. 

  • This plan offers up to 50GB of mobile data monthly

  • Also, it offers additional data which is available for USD 1 per GB, as per early-access invitations, which were sent to select US customers.

Where is it available (countries)?

Although the Starlink Mini is new to the US market, it is already available in places like Colombia, Guatemala, Panama and El Salvador. In these countries, the Mini router could be used with Mini Service or Mobile-Regional Service plans without data or speed caps. Although it could be used in motion or on the ocean SpaceX plans to expand its availability to more regions soon.

Starlink support page reads, “Our goal is to reduce the price of Starlink, especially for those around the world where connectivity has been unaffordable or completely unavailable. In regions with high usage, like the US, where Starlink Mini places additional demand on the satellite network, we are offering a limited number of the Starlink Mini Kits to start at a higher price point.”

Starlink Mini is a standalone service which could be transformative for anyone who needs it for an inexpensive and sharable internet service which could run on DC battery power. 

This further includes families who are dependent upon a cobbled-together solar generator for power, a squad of soldiers trying to fight back an invasion, or just bike packers who carry a backpack, and overlanders who take the road less travelled.

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