SpaceX Has Officially Started Selling Starlink Mini, but It's Far From Affordable

SpaceX has officially started selling Starlink Mini 8 photos
Photo: Starlink
SpaceX has officially started selling Starlink MiniSpaceX has officially started selling Starlink MiniSpaceX has officially started selling Starlink MiniSpaceX has officially started selling Starlink MiniSpaceX has officially started selling Starlink MiniSpaceX has officially started selling Starlink MiniSpaceX has officially started selling Starlink Mini
Musk promised that the compact Starlink Mini kit would be "about half the price" of the Standard kit, which costs $499. However, as the smaller dish went on sale on Wednesday to select customers, it turned out even more expensive, at $599 instead. Here's how Tesla explains the change of mind.
Earlier this week, Elon Musk confirmed rumors about the imminent launch of a more affordable and compact Starlink Mini kit. This is about half the size of the Standard antenna, being small enough to fit in a backpack. Even better, it doesn't need an external Wi-Fi router since it comes with one built-in. You can still daisy-chain a regular Starlink Mesh router for extended coverage if you need to.

People cheered at the idea of a more compact Starlink kit, but they got enthusiastic when Musk promised it would be aggressively positioned at about half the price of the Standard Starlink kit. Not only the hardware kit but also the subscription should be more affordable, as Musk revealed in a tweet on Sunday. However, as SpaceX made Starlink Mini available to select customers on Wednesday, people discovered that it was actually more expensive.

The Starlink Mini kit is offered by invite only to early Starlink customers for $599, a full $100 more than the Standard kit bundled with Residential and Roam service plans. The Mini Roam service plan is attached to an existing residential plan ($120 per month) for an additional $30 per month. This makes the bundle as expensive to subscribe as the Roam plan, previously known as Starlink for RVs. The $30 monthly fee includes 50 GB of mobile data anywhere in the US, while additional data will cost you $1/GB.

In the invite email, SpaceX explained that Starlink Mini dishes place additional demand on the satellite network in regions with high usage, which is why they decided to hike the price to $599. Starlink still intends to offer a cheaper Starlink Mini, "especially around the world where connectivity has been unaffordable or completely unavailable." The wording suggests that the $100 markup would not go away for the US customers, so forget the "half the price" Musk promised on his social media network.

Potential customers were not very happy to see the actual price of the Starlink Mini kit, as shown by their reactions on social media. Not only is the hardware kit more expensive than announced, but the monthly subscription and the data cap don't make the new offer very compelling. Considering that early production units might not be perfect, most people will probably wait for the subsequent hardware revisions before ordering.

So far, the Starlink Mini price markup is no different from Tesla Cybertruck's Foundation Edition. Starlink wants to price this at a premium, at least for a while, to monetize people's interest. However, Starlink Mini offers limited performance compared to the Standard kit. Specifically, the Starlink Mini limits the download speed to 100 Mbps, compared to up to 250 Mbps for the Standard kit.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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