Vietnam News

A first look at Elon Musk’s Starlink internet service in Vietnam

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Satellite internet service Starlink by SpaceX provides a download speed at 200 Mbps, but has not been available for official use in Vietnam yet.

In a meeting last month with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, a SpaceX representative said the firm wants to expand investments and make the Starlink service available in Vietnam, providing broadband Internet services in hard-to-reach areas.

Relevant equipment for the service was brought to the Vietnam International Innovation Expo 2023 (VIIE 2023) at Hoa Lac, Hanoi for limited use. The event runs from Oct. 28 to Nov. 1.

A standard Starlink set would include an antenna to receive satellite signals, along with a router to broadcast internet signals through Wi-Fi, and connective cables. There are also Starlink sets for businesses and power users, with larger equipment.

The router has few details on it, with white being the main theme color. The connective cable that comes with it spans around 15 m.

The router uses Wi-Fi 5 technology and is resistant to dust and water per IP54 standards. Mesh functionality is supported with additional equipment.

The antennas must be placed under clear views of the sky, but do not need a separate power source as a connection with the router will suffice. The feature allows Starlink to be used in areas with limited power availability.

The antennas are also resistant to dust and water per IP54 standards. They can also orient themselves to catch satellite signals most efficiently. The manufacturer said the antennas might take a few minutes to search for satellite signals.

Users will configure the system settings through the Starlink application on their smartphones. The app will help users find the location of the Starlink satellites to orient the antennas and configure the internet settings.

After configuration, routers will broadcast Wi-Fi signals to be used. An adapter would be required for those who prefer Ethernet connections.

Cloudy skies in Hanoi may affect signal strength between the antennas and the satellites. Download speed, as seen at the Expo, is at 150-190 Mbps, which is higher than the average Internet speed in Vietnam according to Speedtest. Certain Vietnamese Internet service providers have already provided broadband Internet speed at 1 Gbps.

By Luu Quy – –  October 30, 2023

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