Starlink launched its Maritime internet service back in July 2022 for seafaring vessels.
How does Starlink's maritime service work and is it just for large vessels or good for small boats too?
Starlink Maritime is a satellite internet plan by Starlink for boats, ships, and other water transport that offers fast internet speeds in coastal areas of the USA and Europe. The plan is intended for large vessels and comes with an expensive upfront fee and a heavy monthly recurring fee.
The huge cost means that this isn't for your small Sea Rays or Bayliners.
What is Starlink Maritime?
Starlink Maritime is a service that Starlink started recently to provide satellite internet connectivity to ships and boats at sea.
It aims to connect merchant vessels, oil rigs, premium yachts, and other commercial sea transport to the internet with its satellite constellation.
Since Starlink has its satellite constellations up and active on all seven constellations, this makes them an excellent service to connect to remote waters.
Starlink maritime is available in coastal areas of the USA, Europe, and Oceania. It's yet to be available in most other areas.
Read this to know how to check the availability of Starlink.
Pricing and Cost of Starlink Maritime
Here is a brief rundown on the costs you can expect from ordering the Starlink Maritime service:
|Service Fee||$5000 per month|
Getting a Starlink Maritime subscription will cost you a standard service fee of $5000 every month.
Just like Starlink RV, this fee can be paused and resumed as per your needs, meaning you don't need to keep paying up the $5000 every month if you are not always at the sea.
Just resume the service when you require it, and you only need to pay for the month you resumed your service.
Along with that, there is a $10,000 fee for the equipment and dishy that you need to set up on your boat or ship.
The shipping and handling are standard at $100, and the tax varies with region, with the tax in my service address being $757.
Compared to other Starlink plans, these prices can seem absurd at first glance.
But do note that this is a very niche service, and for the service in remote waters that it provides, boat owners will be plenty happy to justify its pricing.
Starlink Maritime Hardware
Coming to the $10,000 specialized hardware, Starlink Maritime users get two High-Performance Starlink dishy with pipe adapter mounts.
This is the same High-Performance Starlink dishy Starlink provides to Starlink Business users, but you get two for the Maritime service instead of one.
This high-performance dishy is rated to withstand insane weather conditions from extreme cold and hail to heavy rain to extreme heat and strong gale winds.
The footprint of the Starlink Maritime hardware is also very small compared to its competitors, making sure it takes very less space on deck.
The mounts included with the $10,000 kit are also very sturdy and ensure that the dishy stays secure and snug even in the harshest of crests and troughs.
Starlink Maritime Internet Speeds and Data Cap
Here is a brief chart on the possible speeds and data cap you can expect out of a Starlink Maritime service:
|Download Speeds||350 Mbps peak|
50-200 Mbps expected speeds
|Upload Speeds||40 Mbps|
10-20 Mbps expected speeds
|Data Cap||5 TB|
Starlink promises the same experience that you would get on land with a Starlink service with their Maritime service, and it is evident that they delivered.
Speeds of 200 Mbps are unheard of when it comes to satellite internet options at sea, and it is all thanks to Starlink's excellent implementation of their Starlink constellations.
The upload speeds of 10 to 40 Mbps ensure that you can even opt to live stream from the sea in high resolution to your favored media destination.
Starlink Maritime vs Other Maritime Internet Options
Satellite internet is not a new term for such modes of sea transport, but they are usually very slow and can only be used for emergency purposes.
Here is a brief rundown on the possible speeds and data offered by other competitors who provide satellite internet at sea:
|Service||Download Speeds||Data Caps|
|Fleet One||150 Kbps||100 MB to 40 GB per month|
|Marlink Vsat||6 Mbps||500 MB to 80 GB per month|
|Starlink Maritime||350 Mbps||5 TB per month|
Starlink aims to combat that by providing its excellent 350 Mbps speeds so that users at sea experience the same service as users on land.
In fact, Starlink claims that their implementation of Starlink Maritime for SpaceX rocket launches provided them with live coverage of very high quality.
This was in contrast with their previous satellite internet implementation with VSAT, which provided them with terrible footage quality.
In the world of the common seamen too, the speeds are a very much noticeable trait, with exponential boosts in user experience.
Starlink just provides better speeds and a large data cap that makes all the difference in the world for users at sea.
Even considering the costs of other services, Starlink is very competitive compared to its competitors.
Here is a brief rundown on the possible costs you can expect from Starlink and its competitors:
|Service||Equipment Cost||Monthly Fee|
|Fleet One||$3,000||$765 to $4,569|
The services offered by Fleet can seem more cost-effective than what Starlink offers, but you shell out quite more for data and speeds.
In fact, the highest $4569 plan only offers a paltry 40 GB per month, that too at only 150 Kbps speeds.
Considering Marilink's VSAT connection, the $35k a month expense on top of its expensive and huge hardware can be a cause of concern for shipowners.
This would make Starlink take up the sweet spot of being the most cost-effective satellite internet connection for folks at sea.
The only limitation for Starlink is that it's not yet available as widely as other Maritime internet services.
This is set to change in the next few years as Starlink is expected to roll out in all seas and oceans in the world.
In fact, Starlink has already made great leaps and bounds when it comes to satellite coverage at sea.
The map below clearly shows the areas in Starlink has proper coverage and its possible expansion plans.
Do note that Starlink updates its coverage maps regularly, so by the time you are reading this, Starlink should have expanded its coverage even further.
Starlink also allows you to cancel their maritime internet plan anytime you want as there is no contract.
I hope my article on Starlink Maritime and all its features has been a helpful read and has aided you with the same.
Have a good day!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does Starlink Maritime work all around the globe?
Starlink does have its Starlink constellations up on all continents, but it still doesn't span across oceans, and therefore has specific coverage maps to show its current support, updated frequently.
Can you take a portable Starlink RV to the sea?
Starlink dishy is subject to the service addresses that you provide, and once Starlink realizes the dishy is out of the area of your service address, it deactivates the service.