This weekend, the Supercars Championship travelled to the Wanneroo Raceway in WA, to the north of Perth. An eagle-eyed viewer, Daniel Tyler has spotted a SpaceX Starlink dish on top of the Tickford Racing transporter, 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 the Supercars teams need, Starlink makes lots of sense as an internet solution. The teams are on the road travelling to different events every couple of weeks and travel across Australia.
At each circuit, connectivity would be challenging given the locations are often away from town and population centres. While you may think 4G/5G networks could be adequate, the public mobile networks are prone to speed reductions when high-density crowds attend events.
If you’re a team and need to process large amounts of data, or even communicate with teams back at the workshop, then having a great internet connection is a great advantage over your competitors.
Users can expect to see download speeds between 100 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s and latency as low as 20ms in most locations. SpaceX recently launched their Business-grade product which is due to arrive in Australia Q2 2022, this offers improved download speeds of 150-500 Mbps and latency of 20-40ms, enabling high throughput connectivity for offices of up to 20 users, storefronts, and demanding workloads across the globe. While this does come at a cost premium, this shouldn’t be an issue 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’ however we know users have been successful at moving these around.
Recently we saw SpaceX make a rapid change recently that changed the power required for Starlink, enabling these to be run from vehicle power, enabling ultra-mobile solutions.
While Tickford Racing is the first Australian motorsport team to use Starlink, I would bet they won’t be the last.