After finally receiving all of the required regulatory approvals in Canada last week, Canadians can expect to receive invitations to take part in the beta testing program this week.
In a report from November 3, 2020, SpaceQ says that in a series of emails with the Elon Musk, the SpaceX CEO explained he wasn’t expecting the spectrum license approval for another 2 to 3 weeks. That would put a final approval towards the end of the month, meaning beta testing wouldn’t begin until at least December, or possibly even the new year.
Given the approval happened much quicker than even Musk himself anticipated, SpaceQ is now reporting the first beta testing invitations could come as early as this week.
— SpaceQ (@CanadaInSpace) November 9, 2020
While that is definitely good news for Canadians hoping to test out the new satellite internet service, the initial round of invitations may not be sent to those who live in more remote areas of the country.
The apparent reason is that SpaceX still needs licenses for each of its gateways, or ground stations in Canada. Until those approvals are in place, Musk told SpaceQ the initial beta testers will need to be in areas that overlap with the US based ground stations, or roughly below the 55th parallel, an area which covers the most populated cities in Canada.
Musk also said the pricing would be “pretty much” the same as what US beta testers have to pay, while still taking into account the Canadian/US exchange rate. Given that prices in the US are $499 for the Starlink Kit and $99 per month, Canadians should expect to pay about $649 for the equipment, and $129 per month to test the service.