The Starlink satellite internet service operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX has been a digital lifeline in Ukraine since the early days of the war for both civilians and soldiers in all areas where the digital infrastructure has been wiped out.
The internet service in Ukraine started working on the third day of the war with Russia. At present, there are over 23,000 terminals operated on Ukrainian land, helping the citizens to stay connected despite the ongoing destruction of the infrastructure.
The internet service provider has introduced the same price for all users. However, some exceptions follow. The standard package of satellite internet costs $110 per month. Along with this subscription, you may also need to purchase equipment worth $599.
Since August 24, 2023, there have been some changes in the overall price. Starlink charges a subscription fee of $60 with $385 for the equipment. The preferential price shall remain valid until the pricing policy is revised next time. The connection package of the service includes a terminal, a Wi-Fi router, and a 30-meter cable. The users will get the internet at a speed of 50-150 mbps with 20-40 milliseconds of possible signal delay.
If the users want to opt for the Starlink Business plan, they will have to pay a monthly subscription fee of $500 and $2,500 for the equipment. They can enjoy the internet speed of 150-500 Mbps, provided by twice as powerful aerial.
Check out Starlink Philippines price.
The Starlink RV and Starlink Maritime special offers provide mobile internet for users on the go. But they are not available for all users. The subscription fee is $145, and the equipment charges are $599.
Starlink Maritime offers internet services at sea, making it appropriate for the crews of merchant ships, employees of oil rigs in the ocean, and owners of premium yachts. It is the most expensive offer, with a subscription fee of a whopping $5,000 and an additional $10,000 for equipment. This internet service can work in all weather conditions. The users can suspend and resume the service at any time and are billed after a month.
Ever since Starlink was launched in Ukraine, most of its terminals have been used by the military. The National Telecommunication Networks Operation Centre announced in April that the citizens are not allowed to use the technology of Starlink as it may interfere with the work of the military.
This statement was not welcomed in the country and created a wave of outrage because, besides servicemen, the terminals came in handy to volunteers and IP providers in areas with limited coverage. But later, at the initiative of the State Special Communications Service and Minister of Digital Transformation Mykhailo Fedorov, the national regulator allowed everyone to make the most of the internet service for the period of martial law.
Currently, the Starlink internet service is utilized in hospitals, schools, critical infrastructure enterprises, fire stations, and government agencies. The military is also making the most of Starlink internet to monitor and coordinate drones. But recently, the service has restricted itself to being used for the said purpose.
The protocols for connecting Starlink in Ukraine remain the same. You need to order the satellite internet connection via their official website.
- Mention the address where you want to install the equipment. It should include all the details, such as the country, street, city, and postal code. The system will automatically check if it is possible to connect to the internet service in that area.
- Fill out the form, pay $60 as the initial deposit, and wait for an email from the Starlink network. They will mention the delivery of the product to your address. The delivery takes 2-3 weeks after receiving the email, and shopping costs are not included in the package.
- Once you receive it, pay for the equipment and install it by following the detailed instructions mentioned in the package.
- It is advised to install the antenna in the open area that doesn’t have an obstruction of trees and other buildings.
- Connect the cable to the antenna and system to the grid.
- Download the Starlink app to your smartphone and wait for the connection.
Updates, Firmware, and Shape of the Terminals
Sometimes, the users in Ukraine buy used terminals on eBay to use Starlink. In doing so, it is vital to get access to the account, or the terminal will not work. SpaceX offers a transfer procedure when the terminal changes its ownership. To do this, you can contact the seller with a request to initiate an account transfer to your email. You will receive a letter from SpaceX with detailed instructions about how to re-register the equipment.
In the process, it is also vital to consider the actual version of the firmware. If the firmware is older, the equipment will not work in the country. It happens when the seller has not used the terminal for a long time or has not unpacked it at all.
In this scenario, you need to activate the equipment in the country where it is registered and leave it for 24 hours. At the same time, the firmware will be recovered, and nothing will interfere with your work in Ukraine.
Owing to the current update, Starlink in Ukraine has adjusted to the needs of the citizens. Earlier, it was not used as a mobile access point and worked only at the place of activation. But at present, roaming works in Starlink.
As a result, one can transport one terminal and use it at different locations while traveling. The shape of the terminal has also evolved. Since the beginning, the country has been supplied with stock models of round shape. The new rectangular terminals consume less energy and do not heat up much.
The quality of both terminals remains the same. A round one is preferred by the military. Other equipment can be connected to it through an Ethernet cable. The latest modification doesn’t have a port for the cable and includes only a Wi-Fi hotspot. Using Wi-Fi at the front is dangerous as the chances of detection by the enemy are high.
Pros and Cons
- Starlink offers access to the internet in all situations where other providers cannot.
- The average speed of this satellite internet service is 130-150 Mbps, enough to work remotely.
- The equipment doesn’t require a lot of electricity and can even be powered by a generator, solar panels, and even a car cigarette lighter.
- The installation process of Starlink is easy to use and doesn’t require any special skill.
- The satellite communication that Starlink provides is reliable for it cannot be hacked, blocked, or disconnected.
- The pricing policy of the company is flexible. At present, the cost of Starlink in Ukraine is twice lower than the rest of the places.
- Starlink ensures to update its software regularly and also considers the previous shortcomings.
- The cost service of Starlink is high for many Ukrainians, and the price is not likely to decrease even when more satellites appear in orbit.
- The speed of Starlink in Ukraine is lower than in other European countries because of the lack of its own ground station.
- The enemy intelligence can determine the location of the terminals during their operation.
- The internet may not run smoothly in adverse weather conditions. Although it can melt snow that falls on it, the internet remains powerless against snow piling up around it and other related obstacles.
- Starlink in Ukraine was registered on the 27th of April, 2022, when 1,000 terminals were already operating in the territory. The company received the operator’s license in early June.
- Unlike other satellites, Starlink uses laser technology to function, as lasers can travel at the speed of light. It provides a faster communication process.
- The name of Starlink comes from the book “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green.
- SpaceX is the only company on the planet with a reusable Falcon 9 rocket. It is a launch vehicle delivering 22,800 kilograms of cargo into space.
- In 2018, Musk stated that Starlink would offer SpaceX the income necessary to realize the company’s space ambitions of finding a base on Mars. The work seems to be in progress.