There's so much talk about Starlink, Elon Musk's satellite internet service, now that it's available in the Philippines. But is it worth it?
Starlink, which features satellites in low-Earth orbit, promises a more reliable internet connection with its low latency and availability even in far-flung areas.
It was first approved by the National Telecommunications Commission in May 2022 as a value-added service (VAS) provider, enabling the company to have direct access to satellite systems as part of its services.
“Starlink is expected to cover villages in urban and suburban areas and rural areas that remain unserved or underserved with internet access services. The service is expected to bring cost-effective internet access in these areas,” NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba said.
Here's what we know so far.
How it works
Unlike the fiber-optic internet which is mostly available in the country, Starlink uses radio signals through the vacuum of space, it has ground stations around the planet to broadcast signals to satellites placed in low orbit, which relays back the data to users.
Since Starlink has flat and compacts satellites orbit closer to the planet, it has significantly lower latency, enabling its users to have faster connections.
This feature enables the internet service provider to reach far-flung areas and provide decent online access.
It is also built for easy installment. With its phased array antenna feature, you can set up the device in minutes. The Starlink Kit includes a satellite dish, a Wi-Fi router, cables, and a base.
Since it gets signals from satellites, it is important to place it with a clear view of the sky. Users can use the Starlink App available in iOS and Android OS to check for obstructions and the best location to place the Wi-Fi router. Though it is recommended to mount it in higher places, such as on walls and poles for better connection.
Starlink also boasts its durability as it can withstand extreme cold, heat, hail, heavy rain, strong winds, and even rocket engines.
Starlink’s promised speed
Having thousands of small satellites orbiting, Starlink promises an internet speed of up to 200 Megabits per second (Mbps).
Starlink Business users can expect download speeds up to 350 Mbps, catering to up to 20 users.
How much it costs
According to its website, those residing in Metro Manila or even as far as in Batanes can avail of the service with a one-time payment priced at P29,320 for its hardware, and monthly subscription fee that costs P2,700.
How to avail
To those who are interested in availing of Starlink services, you may check its availability in your area through its satellite map.
More good news: Starlink does not offer long-term contracts and exclusivity requirements, so you can cancel your subscription anytime.
Shipment of the kit will take about two to three weeks from placing an order.