Monday, May 23, 2022

Starlink satellite internet launches premium tier for remote businesses and ‘super users’

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has introduced a premium tier that offers better performance during inclement weather.

The service advertises that it’s designed for small offices, storefronts, and high-demand users. The service’s product page claims that Starlink Premium has more than double the antenna capability of Starlink, boasting up to 2.5 times higher max download speeds – between 150 to 500Mbps – and “improved performance in extreme weather conditions.” The Starlink Premium Kit includes a router, cables, a dish transceiver, and other equipment to get the user started immediately.

Starlink service tier comparison

Service tier Starlink base Starlink Premium
Hardware cost C$649 C$3,179
Service cost C$129/month C$635/month
Shipping and handling C$65 C$65
Pre-order deposit C$129 C$635
Download speed 100Mbps to 200 Mbps 150Mbps to 500Mbps
Latency As low as 20ms 20 to 40ms

Starlink Premium is significantly more expensive than the basic Starlink service. The hardware package, which includes a larger satellite dish, costs C$3,170, five times that of the base tier subscription. The service cost itself is higher as well, coming in at C$635 per month, also five times higher than the base subscription cost of $129.

Buyers need to pay a C$635 deposit to sign up for the service. Starlink expects to deliver starting in Q2 2022.

Some users who have pre-ordered Starlink have had their services delayed. The company attributed the issue to the semiconductor shortage, according to an email to its customers posted on Twitter. While looking to secure its supply chain, Starlink also promised to expand the service to more than 45 new countries by the end of 2022.

Although expensive at first glance, Starlink Premium’s pricing seems less outrageous when compared to other satellite offerings in Canada. Xplornet, for example, offers satellite internet service with just 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload, a fraction of what Starlink advertises, for C$120 per month in Pleasant Camp, B.C., one of the most remote areas in Canada. Additionally, the service throttles the download speed after the first 100GB, which Starlink does not do. For remote businesses and offices looking for higher throughput and more stability, it may be worth it to pay the premium.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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