Starlink introduced a new user terminal that customers can get with their starter kit. As first reported by The Verge, the company now offers a rectangular option (PDF) smaller and lighter than its circular original. Users need to install that antenna on the roof or anywhere above with a clear view of the sky to be able to access the internet via satellite.
The original version is a standard 23-inch wide platter, but the rectangular version is only 12 inches wide and 19 inches long. It’s also only 9.2 pounds, which is nearly half the weight of its circular counterpart. The smaller form factor of the new terminal could give users more options when it comes to potential places to install it. In addition, the rectangular terminal comes with multiple accessory options, including a long pole that users can simply drive into the ground so they no longer have to mount the antenna on the roof.
spaceX launched Starlink as a beta service in late 2020 and was offering customers satellite internet access for $ 99 per month. However, users would have to pay $ 499 more for its hardware kit, which includes the antenna, its mount, power supply, and a WiFi router. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell She said back in August that the original platter cost $ 3,000 to produce, and while the company was able to lower it to $ 1,300, it was still selling the kit at a loss.
Shotwell also said that the terminal it releases this year will “cost about half” of what its current user terminals cost, and that the company may be able to halve it again. The Verge noteHowever, the hardware kit still retails for $ 499 even with the rectangular antenna, and SpaceX has yet to reveal whether it will sell for a lower price in the future. Potential new customers who don’t mind paying the same price can get the rectangular terminal when ordering a kit, as long as they are located in the United States.
Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on Engadget.