Elon Musk is in the process of putting up tens of thousands of large-ish satellites meant to deliver high-speed internet access to every person on Earth. Swarm Technologies Inc. wants to do something similar, only different. The four-year-old startup has put up a constellation of tiny satellites that deliver internet access in drips and drabs to all types of devices.
To date, Swarm has placed 21 of its paperback-sized satellites into orbit. Nine of these devices were experimental units to prove that the technology worked, while 12 of them were production models launched this month from a spaceport in French Guiana. With the fleet now up and running, Swarm has revealed the prices for its data service for the first time. Customers will pay $5 per month to send 150 kilobytes of data—equal to about 750 text messages—and a onetime $119 fee for the satellite modem that links devices to the satellites. “We joke that it’s like the internet of 1996, like dial-up modem speeds,” says Ben Longmier, the co-founder and chief technology officer of Swarm. “For most of our customers that is totally fine. They want to send the equivalent of a couple of text messages several times a day.” Read more: