🛰️ Starlink Premium is on the way – Will it be the right solution for you?
SpaceX has announced the next offering for its satellite internet service. Starlink Premium promises much faster speeds and the ability to connect from anywhere, but it comes with a rather hefty price tag. Is it right for you? Let's find out!
Featured Image: The new Starlink Premium Dish. | Image source: Starlink.com
On February 2, 2022, SpaceX announced the next iteration in its state-of-the-art satellite internet service, Starlink.
Having launched its first satellite in May 2019, Starlink has only been around for a couple of years as an internet service provider. But in that time, their growth has been impressive as they have launched over 2,000 satellites, gained 145,000 customers in 25 countries, and announced other remarkable developments such as space lasers, Gen2 satellites, and now, Starlink Premium.
Personally, I have followed Starlink very closely since February of 2021, when I was able to place my own pre-order for the internet service as a part of the beta program.
Needless to say, today's announcement of Starlink Premium grabbed my attention.
Naturally, the first things that jumped out at me were the numbers. 500 Mbps download speeds (that's double the current Starlink), 20-40 Mbps upload speeds (another doubling), and a price tag of $500 per month. This one isn't a doubling, but a 5x increase.
So the big question. Is it worth it? Perhaps a better question, is it even right for you? Let's dive in a bit and figure out some of those answers.
The announcement of Starlink Premium is going viral right now, with coverage all over the media world. And like me, it seems that everyone is looking at the numbers. Most notably, the price tag. $500 a month for internet service is simply out of reach for a lot of people. Add to that the up-front cost of $2,500 for the dish kit itself, and a new user will be out $3,000 before they even run their first speed test.
But what became most notable to me (after I got over the sticker shock), is who Starlink says the target marketis for Premium: offices, storefronts, and super-users across the globe. This is great news.
This news answered the main question that I had. 'Should I prepare to upgrade?' The answer is no! It's not meant for me. And if you are an average residential user, it probably isn't meant for you either. At least, not for your home. On the other hand, offices, and storefronts intrigue me. As a remote worker, sometimes I like to get out of the house to do some work. It's usually at a coffee shop or a co-working station.
The common downside to these places is that the shared public internet service that they provide is often bogged down and slowed by many people logging on at once. This is something that Starlink can solve, and aims to solve, via Starlink Premium. The dish itself has more than double the antenna capability of the original Starlink dish, allowing it to deliver faster internet speeds and higher throughput for the highest-demand users, most notably, businesses. With speeds as high as 500 Mbps with no data caps, small businesses will be able to offer Starlink Premium to their customers and give them an attractive edge over their competitors.
The benefits to larger businesses will also be substantial. One of the key offerings of Starlink Premium is "Unlimited Service Locations. On their website they say,
Starlink is ideal for rural and remote locations. Order as many Starlinks as needed and manage all of your service locations, no matter how remote, from a single account.
Businesses with multiple locations will be able to order Starlink throughout their organization and easily manage it.
All in all, it is important to remember that Starlink is a constellation. A network of low-orbit satellites that are growing in quantity and quality every month. "Basic" Starlink, like the kit that I have, is still excellent. And it seems to be constantly improving.
After nearly one year of using Starlink exclusively for my home internet service, I have experienced noticeable improvements since first setting it up in April 2021. Gone are the days of random network outages. I have not lost my internet connection in many months now, and my speeds are consistently over 150 Mbps, with frequent spikes in excess of 200 Mbps. For me, and I imagine a vast majority of home users, this is more than enough.
While this exciting news of Starlink Premium may not be targeted at we home-users, it does bolster the overall network, attract an entirely new market segment in businesses and 'super-users', and will undoubtedly add to Starlink's continued infrastructure improvements, and thus continue to revolutionize the internet-connected world.
Don't forget to check out the Optimist's Edge article, How the next evolution of satellite internet will revolutionize the world.