SpaceX launches first mobile Starlink offering for boats (non-millionaires need not apply)

SpaceX just launched Maritime Starlink, which will offer high-speed internet at any point across the oceans – but you better be a millionaire if you hope to afford it.

SpaceX just received FAA approval for mobile Starlink terminal use, and the company has wasted no time in launching the first mobile option. The new Starlink Maritime option appeared on the company’s site today, and by Q4 2022 plans to offer high speed internet access across the oceans.

Starlink Maritime has an upfront hardware cost of $10,000 in addition to a monthly cost of $5,000/month. The hardware cost includes two high-performance Starlink terminal – the kind used for Starlink Business – and two pipe-mount adapters.

Thankfully, and similarly to Starlink for RV, you are able to pause the billing of Maritime Starlink when you will not be using the service. This is definitely not for the average person. Or even the average rich person. At this cost, only the ultra wealthy and companies will be buying Maritime Starlink.

When will Maritime Starlink be available?

Maritime Starlink is currently available for those willing to pay the upfront price, but coverage is not yet universal. The company’s coverage map shows that currently coastal areas will have service. The service will expand across the oceans starting in Q4 2022 and expand further in Q1 2023. Maritime Starlink also receives inland coverage in many of the countries where it is currently operational.

How fast is Maritime Starlink?

Maritime Starlink offers similar speeds to the company’s existing Starlink for Business, with download speeds of 100-300Mbps and upload speeds of 20-40Mbps. The primary change in speed for Maritime is the latency, which the company lists as “<99ms.” For comparison, Starlink for Business is listed as 20-40ms. It is likely this latency would increase as the distance to the nearest ground station – and therefore the number of satellites the signal would have to hop through – increases.

Will Maritime Starlink get better?

This question is a bit harder, and undoubtably a bit of mixed bag, but I would still say yes. The order page notes that “Customers will have the option to upgrade to a flat panel Starlink and mounting hardware in Q4 2022.” This flat panel version will hopefully be even better for in-motion use, and more convenient for many people. Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, the coverage will continue expand. Once more satellites are up, and the satellite interconnects are even more widespread and operational, it is even possible speeds could improve.

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