Starlink dish about the size of a laptop spotted in FCC filing

Starlink receiver dish
Credit: SpaceX

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but SpaceX is going the opposite direction by slimming out its Starlink dish to about the size of a laptop. The smaller stature of the new dish will make it more portable, something nomad users will appreciate.

SpaceX filed an FCC application earlier this week for permission to offer next-gen Starlink dishes, which is described as leveraging a smaller footprint.

The new dish will still offer high-speed and low-latency broadband anywhere the owner lives or works. SpaceX emphasizes its use in rural and remote areas where mobile or portable applications are necessary, according to PC Mag.

SpaceX approved to begin testing “next-generation” Starlink user terminals

A different document revealed the next-gen dish would measure 29 mm (11.4 in) by 25 mm (9.8 in). These are similar in dimensions to an Apple MacBook, according to Twitter user Nathan Owens who tracks SpaceX developments. The existing Starlink dish is significantly larger, measuring 20.2 in by 11.9 in.

SpaceX, however, has yet to reveal the exact improvements users can expect from the new dish, apart from the smaller size, even though the FCC application claims the company has continued to develop and refine the terminals.

The current Starlink dish costs $599, but the cost of the upcoming dish is not known yet.

The FCC application mentions another dish described as a high-performance solution for consumers and enterprise users. It measures 22.4 in by 14.7 in, apparently, a shrunk-down version of the current $2,500 high-performance dish measuring 22.7 in by 20.1 in released last September.

It appears even SpaceX’s competitors are also seeing the benefits of Starlink as a dish was spotted at a DISH Network mobile vendor site in January.