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Starlink Surpasses 2 Million Subscribers

By Rachel Jewett | September 25, 2023

The first Starlink community gateway on the remote island of Unalaska, Alaska. Photo: SpaceX

Starlink has officially passed the 2 million subscriber mark, SpaceX announced on Sept. 23. The Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellation is supplying broadband internet to more than 60 countries on all seven continents. 

That means that Starlink added around 500,000 subscribers between early May and late September this year, according to previous Starlink updates

Yet these subscriber numbers are far short of early projections SpaceX made for the constellation. In 2015, SpaceX sent investors a presentation claiming that Starlink would have 20 million subscribers by 2022, according to a report from the The Wall Street Journal, written about by Ars Technica.

Starlink’s website also debuted a new feature, sharing stories of Starlink use around the world. It highlights photos of Starlink being used in remote locations in Antarctica, Brazil, Cherokee Nation, and California.

There have been a number of updates and new pieces of information about Starlink’s business model in the past month. Starlink recently signed a deal with satellite operator SES for SES to integrate, sell, and deliver Starlink service along with its own satellite service in a bundled offering to the cruise market. 

In addition, Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of Starlink Commercial Sales at SpaceX recently told a panel at World Satellite Business Week SpaceX is no longer subsidizing the cost of the user terminal for customers. This is a significant development in the terminal cost for SpaceX, as it was previously producing the terminal for around $1,500 and subsidizing it for consumers by selling it for $500. SpaceX now sells it for $599. 

And separately, SpaceX also opened the first community gateway for Starlink on the remote island of Unalaska, Alaska this month. The announcement said the community gateway is providing up to 10 Gbps of connectivity to the island. 

SpaceX is rapidly adding to the Starlink constellation, which independent tracking from astronomer Jonathan McDowell shows shows around 4,827 active satellites from 5,178 total satellites launched. SpaceX launched 21 Starlink satellites on Monday morning from Vandenberg Space Force Base, following a Sunday launch of 22 satellites from Cape Canaveral. There have been eight Starlink launches just this month.