Starlink debuted its new Starlink Premium antenna and service, with promises that it will exceed the company’s previous offerings in both speed and latency provided.
According to the satellite internet provider’s pre-order page, the new, larger antenna unit and its companion subscription offer “download speeds of 150-500Mbps and latency of 20-40ms, enabling high throughput connectivity for small offices, storefronts, and super users across the globe.
Founder and CEO of Starlink parent company SpaceX, Elon Musk, tweeted that the new antenna features “twice the area of our standard phased array with broader scanning angle.” Starlink claims this will help its satellite-based service be viable for even the most demanding users’ peak data consumption periods.
The company also claims the Starlink Premium antenna can continue to operate without interruption even in “extreme weather conditions.”
In addition to the enhanced hardware capabilities offered by Starlink Premium, the companion subscription touts its new “24/7 prioritized support,” something not offered on any previous Starlink subscription plan.
The increased throughput and prioritized support do not come cheaply, however. The initial hardware required for Starlink Premium will run subscribers $2,500, with an additional $50 in shipping and handling costs. On top of that, they will have to pay $500 per month for the required broadband subscription, or five times the $99 per month of Starlink’s standard sub.
It remains to be seen whether the bump from the standard Starlink’s promised speeds of 100-200Mbps to Starlink Premium’s 150-350Mbps and the other accompanying benefits will be enough to attract many users to the pricier option.
Satellite-based internet services have struggled for some time to reach a level of viability on par with their terrestrial and earth-based wireless counterparts. Starlink Premium is certainly a step toward that parity, assuming it lives up to its promises, but the cost may put off all but the most desperate or wealthiest customers.
Those interested can reserve their Starlink Premium slot now for a $500 deposit. The company expects to begin shipping out the self-install kits sometime during the second quarter of 2022. ZDNet