In a history as old as the web, there has always been a struggle between those who provide the data and those who test the limits of what unlimited use really means. Precisely, Starlink put an end to one of its greatest strengths.
Elon Musk continues to deploy his Starlink network with multiple satellite launches. The last launch, whose cost is estimated at 52 million dollars, will put 52 new satellites into orbit thanks to a Falcon 9 rocket. But before that, in August 2022, it is for another reason that we were talking about Starlink. The Starlink satellite internet network provided by SpaceX has made a price change in its offer to the general public.
Half price but there is a “hiccup”
Until now, the basic subscription was billed at 99 euros per month, plus the cost of purchasing the equipment. This subscription gave access to the Internet without data consumption limits. From now on, from August 3, 2022, the subscription will increase to 50 euros per month. Behind this price reduction hides an important change. The famous “hic”.
In fact, Starlink enforces what they call a fair use policy to ensure the quality of customer service. In other words, subscription includes 250 GB of prioritized data per month, in addition, Starlink will limit the connection speed during peaks of heavy consumption. To release your connection you will have to pay 10 euros for 100 GB of data. Data is always unlimited, but you won’t be able to do anything beyond your plan’s data envelope. As you’ve certainly understood, we’ve already seen similar caps applied to our mobile subscriptions on 3G, 4G and 5G.
It should also be noted that the remaining satellite internet operators have very similar conditions. Nordnet, for example, limits the speed of its offers and associates it with a priority data envelope. For €59.90 per month, you have access to a connection of up to 100 Mbps at downlink speed with priority of 150 GB.
The change that doesn’t please everyone
Obviously, this change is not to the liking of all customers, despite the price drop, because it depends a lot on the use we will have of our internet connection. Many brandish the current use we make of an internet connection, such as video streaming. This is what we can read in one of the unofficial Facebook groups dedicated to Starlink.
If you watch a movie in UHD definition on Netflix, the bandwidth allocated for this service is 15.26 Mbps. In concrete terms, data consumption is equivalent to 6.8 GB per hour of viewing🇧🇷 this corresponds Less than 37 hours of viewing in 4K, if you only use your connection to watch movies. If 37 hours of video streaming per month seems like enough, you need to take into account the fact that your connection is not only used for watching videos, but also the fact that there are several of us in one household.
All connected devices consume data, including your iPhone when it’s updated, when it’s backed up to iCloud, or when your photos are automatically uploaded to Google Photos. In reality, living with a limited data subscription means having to compromise. On Netflix, for example, you can change the quality of videos, a video stream in HD definition consumes up to 3 GB of data per hour. On smartphones you can also restrict data usage, Android and iOS have similar options.
The changes will surely continue
Starlink would potentially release multiple packages, in any case, is what a study shared among its customers suggests. These are prices, including a subscription at 100 euros per month that would include 750 GB of priority data instead of 250. The premium service, without limitation and with priority access, is 500 euros per month.
It will also be necessary to note when periods of congestion occur. As for the restricted connection speed… Starlink mentions a speed of 5 to 100 Mbps and currently does not provide any tool to monitor consumption.
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