The SpaceX-owned company says the new plan can provide ‘connectivity around the globe.’
Starlink’s testing a new satellite internet service it says will let you “connect from almost anywhere on land in the world,” according to a message some Starlink users have received. The SpaceX-owned company calls it “Global Roaming Service” and says it’ll cost $200 per month in addition to the base $599 Starlink Kit.
The service, which uses “Starlink’s inter-satellite links (aka space lasers) to provide connectivity around the globe,” comes with a pretty big caveat. In its message to users, Starlink notes that you should expect “Starlink’s typical high speed, low-latency service intermixed with brief periods of poor connectivity, or none at all” but that this will “improve dramatically over time.”
NEWS: Starlink is testing a new "Global Roaming Service" for $200/mo, plus the standard $599 for Hardware. Will they offer this as an add-on for $65/mo like portability? @RealTeslaNorth @MarcusTuck3 https://t.co/c2vQhtOUL8 pic.twitter.com/kiLMsMkhDY
— Nathan Owens (@VirtuallyNathan) February 17, 2023
It’s also not immediately clear how Starlink will follow through on its promise to provide internet from nearly anywhere. Starlink is still waiting on regulatory approval in various countries, including India, Pakistan, and Cambodia, and is completely unavailable in others. Despite this, PCMag reports that Starlink is offering the Global Roaming service to some users outside the company’s coverage areas, such as Greenland.
While Starlink already lets users travel with their dishes (nicknamed “Dishy”), the Global Roaming service sounds like it might come with fewer limitations. The existing $135 per month Starlink RV plan, for instance, lets users equip their RVs with Starlink’s hardware for internet access while traveling, and comes with the option of an even pricier dish for internet access on the go. But it’s only available in certain parts of the globe, and internet access isn’t prioritized like it is for residential customers, resulting in slower speeds.
Meanwhile, the $25 per month Portability add-on that comes on top of the $110 subscription for residential customers only lets users take their Dishy with them if they’re traveling within their home continent, and requires them to change their permanent address if they spend “an extended period of time” away from their home. There’s also the ridiculously expensive $5,000 per month Maritime plan for users who want internet access at sea.
Starlink makes the Global Roaming plan sound like a more untethered way to travel the globe while using the company’s satellite internet. Just like the RV plan, users can pause the Global Roaming service at any time. We still don’t know whether Starlink will give priority internet access to users who sign up for the plan, though, and, as noted by Starlink, users outside the US are “responsible for acting as the Importer of Record for the Starlink Kit.” This means customers will have to ensure the Kit complies with local laws and regulations, as well as pay customs duties and import taxes.