Starlink’s Internet-to-space service continues to expand into new use cases with the launch of Starlink Maritime. What began in-house before expanding into stationary RVs is now available for moving boats at a cost of $5,000 a month. SpaceX is targeting wealthy owners of merchant ships, oil rigs and superyachts with the service.
Starlink Maritime also requires a one-time purchase of $10,000 Two According to the US order page, rugged high-performance Starlink dishes that ship in about two weeks. By comparison, Starlink’s hardware for residential and RV services costs $599 and includes a single (small) “Dishy McFlatface” (as Dish is known to fans), $110 monthly for home service. With $135 for membership or VanLifer. Importantly, the use of RV service in motion is not permitted and will void the warranty.
Like the Starlink RV, a Starlink Marine subscription can be paused during the months you no longer need it. It’s also offered without a data cap, like all Starlink subscriptions, but SpaceX warns against “overuse of network services.”
SpaceX posted a side-by-side comparison of live video footage captured onboard the SpaceX drone. To the right is footage captured on Starlink Maritime versus some unnamed service, which SpaceX CEO Elon Musk claims “costs $150,000 a month for”.Very bad relationship,
Maritime subscribers can expect mixed performance in comparison to Starlink Residential and RV services. Sea speeds of 100-350Mbps down and 20-40Mbps up are a bit faster than residential thanks to those dual terminals, but latency is worse at <99ms compared to 20-40ms for the others. Still, those are just "performance targets" according to the fine print. You can expect a guaranteed level of service when you're paying SpaceX $5,000 a month for Maritime, but at least you won't have to contend with trees blocking the skies.
Starlink Maritime coverage includes coastal waters around the Americas (including the Great Lakes), European waters from the Mediterranean Sea to the North Sea, much of New Zealand and Australia, and parts of South America. Further expansion is coming with the launch of additional satellites in Q4. SpaceX currently has more than 2,400 Starlink satellites in low- to medium-Earth orbit supporting 400,000 users.
The launch of Starlink Maritime comes a week after the FCC authorized Starlink’s use on vehicles in motion. Marine service includes an FCC statement about potential interference when operating in the 12.2-12.7GHz band—the workhorse frequency used by Starlink that Dish Network intends to use to offer 5G services.
“Starlink’s in-motion operations, including ships, must acknowledge any interference received from both current and future services authorized in the band – even if such interference may result in undesirable operations for Starlink Services and its customers.”
This is ominous given the current dispute between SpaceX and Dish. SpaceX says Dish’s 12GHz 5G plan will “make Starlink unusable.” Dish says SpaceX is lying.