This weekend the Supercars Championship traveled to Wanneroo Raceway in WA, north of Perth. An eagle-eyed beholder, Daniel Tyler spotted a SpaceX Starlink dish above the Tickford Racing carrier, sharing it this morning with the Starlink Users Australia Facebook group.
Starlink offers high-speed Internet via satellites in low Earth orbit, enabling low-latency applications like live video streaming not possible on traditional satellite services.
When you consider the profile of what Supercars teams need, Starlink makes a lot of sense as an internet solution. Teams are on the road traveling to different events every two weeks and traveling around Australia.
At each circuit, connectivity would be difficult as locations are often far from towns and population centers. While you might think 4G/5G networks might be adequate, public mobile networks are subject to speed reductions when high-density crowds attend events.
If you are a team and need to process large amounts of data, or even communicate with teams on the shop floor, a good internet connection is a big advantage over your competitors.
Users can expect to see download speeds between 100Mbps and 200Mbps and latency as low as 20ms in most locations. SpaceX recently launched its enterprise-grade product which is expected to arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2022, it offers improved download speeds of 150-500 Mbps and latency of 20-40 ms, enabling high-speed connectivity for offices up to to 20 users, storefronts and demanding workloads across the world. Although it comes at a high cost, it shouldn’t be a problem for a sport that deals with budgets in the millions.
If you order a Starlink today, the checkout page suggests “Service for this order is only guaranteed at this location”, but we know users have successfully moved them.
Recently, we saw SpaceX make a quick change recently that changed the power requirements for Starlink, allowing these to be run from vehicle power, allowing for ultra-mobile solutions.
Although Tickford Racing is the first Australian motorsport team to use Starlink, I’d bet they won’t be the last.