President and chief operating officer of SpaceX Gwynne Shotwell said at the Satellite 2021 LEO Digital Forum that at first the cost of a user terminal for the Starlink satellite service was $3,000, but then it was reduced to $1,500. However, each new user of the Starlink service must pay only $499 for the kit, which includes a terminal, a mounting tripod and a router.
This means that the $1,000 difference is covered by SpaceX. “We don’t charge our customers the full cost of manufacturing these terminals”, – Shotwell said, noting that SpaceX has “made great progress in reducing the cost of manufacturing” Starlink terminals by halving it. According to Shotwell, the company has just released a new version of the terminal, which is cheaper by $200, and it is expected that within a year or two, the cost of manufacturing it will be reduced to several hundred dollars.
Currently, participants in the beta testing program of the Starlink service called Better Than Nothing Beta, in addition to the above one-time fee for the kit, which is installed at home, must pay $99 monthly for Internet access. There are no official data on the number of terminals and beta testers, but in February, SpaceX noted that Starlink already has more than 10 thousand users in the United States and abroad.