Musk’s Starlink makes maiden Asia foray with Japan launch

Elon Musk’s Starlink has debuted in Japan, making it the first Asian nation to receive SpaceX’s satellite internet service.

Much of the country’s north, including Tokyo, can now receive Starlink’s signals, according to a map the startup shared on Twitter. Other areas including southern Japan and Hokkaido are expected to receive the service by the fourth quarter, before neighboring South Korea early next year.

Starlink is Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s ambitious plan to create a constellation of satellites to beam broadband internet around the planet, particularly to remote areas with patchy connectivity. It signed an agreement with Japanese carrier KDDI Corp. last year to provide 1,200 remote mobile towers with high-speed internet.

Starlink’s profile has grown of late, most recently when its technology was deployed in Ukraine as part of a defense against Russia’s invasion, an endeavor Musk has said will cost SpaceX more than $100 million by the end of the year. The company is also seeking to muscle in on a crowded market to provide in-flight wi-fi.  – BLOOMBERG