Starlink launches its internet service for boats, costs $5,000 per month plus $10,000...

midian182

Posts: 8,321   +103
Staff member
What just happened? Have you ever gazed at your yacht and wished it achieved pretty fast download speeds while out at sea? It's a first-world problem most of us are unlikely to face. But if you do happen to own a maritime vehicle without internet, you probably won't mind paying $5,000 per month for Starlink's service.

SpaceX's Starlink has launched a version of its internet service called Starlink Maritime, which, as the name suggests, is designed for the extreme conditions faced by boats, ships, yachts, and oil rigs.

Starlink Maritime doesn't come cheap. First, customers must buy a pair of rugged Starlink dishes for a one-time cost of $10,000. They must then pay $5,000 per month to access the service. For comparison, Starlink's residential and RV services have a $599 hardware fee and cost $110 (home) or $135 (RV) per month, though using the latter while the vehicle is in motion voids the warranty.

Like the RV version, Starlink Maritime customers can pause the service when it's not being used. It also comes without a data cap, but SpaceX does warn against excessive use.

The service's "performance goals" consist of download speeds between 100-350Mbps and uploads of 20-40Mbps. Latency, however, is <99ms, notes The Verge.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SpaceX (@spacex)

Users won't be able to get a connection everywhere in the world. It currently only works in coastal waters off the US (including the Great Lakes but not Alaska), Europe (except most of Norway, Sweden, and Finland), Australia, Brazil, Chile, most of the southern part of Australia, and New Zealand. More regions will be added in Q4.

While the initial outlay and monthly cost of Starlink Maritime are obviously very expensive, CEO Elon Musk notes that SpaceX was paying $150,000 per month to an unnamed service for a "much worse" internet connection to its ships. SpaceX has also posted a comparison video (above) on Instagram to promote its product.

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission granted SpaceX authorization to use its Starlink satellite internet system on vehicles in motion, including cars, aircraft, and boats.

Permalink to story.

 

m4a4

Posts: 3,095   +4,138
TechSpot Elite
I mean, if you can afford a big enough boat for this to be useful, you can afford the price. I'm certain that it's much more expensive than it needs to be, but for the market, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the bargain Musk claims it to be.

Unless someone wants to come in and offer better, it's just a good business decision to price it like that...
 

yRaz

Posts: 4,813   +5,995
Satellite internet, in the classical sense, is stupid expensive and very slow. I can see Musk milking the the yachting community because they essentially have NO internet at sea and he has a monopoly on it. I can also say I don't really care because these people make more money in a month than I will in my lifetime.

Milk away, Musk!
 

George Keech

Posts: 265   +458
Love how most people would wait for a professional/ expert to confirm reasons and finding - nope Musk will explain in a totally non-bias way - why his stuff is the best stuff.

True or not you need 3rd parties
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,766   +6,591
Knowing boat guys they'll gobble this up, sattelite is not only orders of magnitude slower/useless, but it can push used car prices for big ships per month, and that doesnt include the connectivity for weather checks and the like.
I mean, if you can afford a big enough boat for this to be useful, you can afford the price. I'm certain that it's much more expensive than it needs to be, but for the market, I wouldn't be surprised if it was the bargain Musk claims it to be.

Unless someone wants to come in and offer better, it's just a good business decision to price it like that...
Not only a bargain, one must consider that oceans are a LOT bigger then land, with a total population lower then wisconsin or montana. It's not cheap to maintain enough sattelites to cover all that.
 

passwordistaco

Posts: 412   +951
Knowing boat guys they'll gobble this up, sattelite is not only orders of magnitude slower/useless, but it can push used car prices for big ships per month, and that doesnt include the connectivity for weather checks and the like.
Not only a bargain, one must consider that oceans are a LOT bigger then land, with a total population lower then wisconsin or montana. It's not cheap to maintain enough sattelites to cover all that.
Exactly. The cost of launching a satellite is spread among many fewer customers.
 

brucek

Posts: 1,294   +1,921
Previous yacht services were MUCH more expensive - see video below.

That said though the point is they were global services, which is what a true ocean-going vessel needs. I'm not sure how wide Starlink's "coastal waters" definition is, but keep in mind close to coast is both where pleasure vessels spend a lot of time and also where your regular mobile service might still be in range (and an obviously much better deal.)

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,327   +8,523
I'm just waiting for his service to be hacked and spread across the web ..... just give it time ....
 

bviktor

Posts: 1,061   +1,543
Satellite internet, in the classical sense, is stupid expensive and very slow. I can see Musk milking the the yachting community because they essentially have NO internet at sea and he has a monopoly on it. I can also say I don't really care because these people make more money in a month than I will in my lifetime.

Milk away, Musk!
Uh, no, the "classical" problem with sat net isn't speed, it's latency.

... which Starlink solves by moving the satellites much closer to the surface. Creating all types of issues, but that's another story.

And yes, this is a very clever product for the stupid rich. Let them pay all they want.
 

hwertz

Posts: 198   +117
What is stopping someone from just getting the home starlink termnal and like putting it in the bridge or something so it doesn't get wet? That said, I suppose the fuel costs etc. yacthing around the world are also high already so *shrug*. The Starlink service is definitely better than the existing global satellite data options, typically a high per-month cost plus per-MB fee, for like 1mbps service if you're lucky (probably you wouldn't want higher speeds at the cost though, who wants to spend like $2,000 in data fees to stream a ball game? :laughing:)
 

hwertz

Posts: 198   +117
Why is the upload speed always worse than the download lol
Partially what Vanderlinde said.

Partly for technical reasons.

DSL splits a phone line into numerous narrow, low-speed channels (100s to 1000s of them) to get your data through, each channel is only used for upload or download. A few of the older DSL specs had a low fixed maximum upstream (like 1.5mbps max even when you could get 10 or 20mbps down through those specs), VDSL/VDSL2 do allow the split to be moved around however you want. But, for instance, I have a "40mbps down/ 5mbps up" service that gets like 32mbps down and 5 up; if I persuaded CenturyLink to make it symmetric, I'd only be getting 18.5mbps down to get 18.5mbps up!

Cable modem, they made the design decision to have more expensive, higher-speed-supporting hardware on the cable company head-end side of things, to save like $200 a pop on the cable modems early on and probably $50-100 current day. Cable standards also allow varying the upsream versus downstream capacity, they are also running much more downstream capacity than upstream (since, in the situation of the cable co having all channels already lit up with either internet or digital TV service, increasing upstream capacity would mean decreasing downstream and dropping those speeds somewhat.)

Both cellular and satellite, it's a lot easier to pump out high speed data from a fixed point (well, the satellites aren't fixed but predictable motion...) with a high power budget, than receive similar speeds from 100s to 1000s of devices that may or may not be staying still, and probably have lower power budget (cell phones definitely do and the Starlink terminal is probably pulling down less power than the satellite transponder pumps out.) In this case there is an exception to the rule though -- when there's a football game in town here, the LTE congests like crazy and I do see like 1mbps down and 20mbps up, most cellular bands have a dedicated downstream channel and dedicated upstream channel that are the same size and far fewer people upload than download.
 
This will be huge for people on drill ships. More than likely many in the shipping industry in general. Lots of places don't have any internet for their crew, and it genuinely makes life miserable.