Starlink beta testers can purchase a user terminal and a router for about $500. Starlink probably sells these terminals at a significant loss. In a tweet shared earlier this month, Elon Musk wrote:
Lowering Starlink terminal cost, which may sound rather pedestrian, is actually our most difficult technical challenge.
In a recent earnings call, Pradman Kaul, CEO and President of Hughes Network Systems, gave some perspective on the cost of Starlink’s terminal in comparison to conventional terminals for satellite internet:
The big advantage we would have over Starlink is the economics…Our antenna in Jupiter [Hughes’ terminal], it costs $40 to $50. I think most people would agree that, today, the phased array antenna [what Starlink uses] costs are around $1,400, $1,500. So the economics just going to not be a big advantage for them. In fact, it’s going to make our offerings much more attractive.