Starlink recently rebranded some of its offerings, which now include an option for those who are constantly on the move.
In this article, I will explain what Starlink’s Mobility offering entails, how much it costs, and how it compares to its Roam offering.
What Is Starlink Mobility?
Starlink’s Mobility option is aimed at those who need to stay connected to high-speed internet while in motion.
Mobility is ultimately aimed at mobile businesses and public sector use cases, including emergency response, trucking, buses, shuttles, mobile health clinics, and news broadcasting.
The Mobility plan, which is also called Mobile Priority, promises download speeds of up to 220 Mbps – on par with those who are subscribed to the Business/Priority plan.
Similarly, upload speeds are comparatively high as well at 8 Mbps to 25 Mbps. Furthermore, latency can be as low as 20 ms, depending on your and the satellites’ location.
Starlink sells three different Mobile Priority / Mobility plans, namely:
- 50 GB for $250/month
- 1 TB for $1,000/month
- 5 TB for $5,000/month
However, the data packages listed don’t necessarily represent a hard cap, meaning you will still have a functioning internet connection when exceeding your monthly allotment – under one condition.
If you exceed the cap, then you can continue enjoying unlimited Basic Access data if you’re located on land and not in the ocean.
Starlink considers all areas colored as black on the Starlink Availability Map as ocean regions, including islands unless they are labeled ‘Available’, ‘Waitlist’, or ‘Coming Soon’.
If you’re out in open waters, then you can solely access www.starlink.com to purchase additional Priority data at $2 per GB.
Meanwhile, when you’re back on land or near a shore, you will experience Basic Access speed, which is essentially the same prioritization subscribers of Roam are assigned to.
Basic Access performance is ultimately dependent on how congested the cell that you’re located in is.
If there aren’t many users near you fighting for bandwidth, you likely won’t even notice a difference compared to Priority.
Starlink’s Mobility options, just like its other internet plans, can be tested at no charge for the first 30 days of receiving the hardware.
Subscribers can also cancel their subscriptions at any time. However, you won’t receive a refund on the hardware if you exceed the 30-day threshold.
Starlink Mobility Recommend Hardware
Starlink recommends that subscribers on the Mobile Priority plan purchase the Flat High Performance dish.
The dish costs a whopping $2,500, which is particularly high if you compare it to the price of the Standard antenna, costing ‘only’ $599.
However, the increase in pricing comes with a set of different perks. Not only can you use the dish while in motion, but also enjoy:
- A wider field of view, thus allowing the antenna to connect to more satellites and keep downtime low
- Enhanced GPS capabilities
- Greater durability against natural forces such as hail
In fact, the antenna is so durable that it’s normally being used to get high-quality videos of SpaceX rocket landings at sea, providing continuous coverage in the face of engines capable of generating up to 190,000 lbs of force.
The antenna, just like any other Starlink kit, comes with a router and various power cables. Additionally, customers receive a power supply station as well as mounting gear for both the router and power supply (since the High Performance version does not come with a stand).
It has to be noted that the High Performance dishy does consume substantially more power (110 – 150W) compared to the Standard version (50 – 75W), though.
Starlink Mobility vs. Roam
Folks living on boats were subscribed to Starlink’s Roam (formerly RV) plan for the longest time – even though they were technically violating the firm’s Terms of Service.
But in early May 2023, Starlink finally began reigning in on the parade, asking users to switch to the Mobile Priority plan or purchase Priority data while out in the open waters.
So far, reviews in the various Facebook and Reddit groups have been of mixed nature, stating that some are still able to use their Roam subscriptions while others have already been cut off.
However, Starlink is likely going to become stricter as time moves on. With that being said, let’s draw a quick comparison between the Roam and Mobile Priority plans to help you decide if you should make the switch:
|Download Speed||40 Mbps – 220 Mbps||5 Mbps – 50 Mbps|
|Upload Speed||2 Mbps – 10 Mbps||8 Mbps – 25 Mbps|
|Latency||<99 ms||<99 ms|
|Pricing Subscription (US)||50 GB: $250 |
1 TB: $1,000
5 TB: $5,000
|Regional: $150 |
|Recommended Hardware||Flat High Performance Dishy||Standard Dishy|
|Prioritization||Priority Access Data||Basic Access Data|
|Availability||Worldwide||Regional: in registered country |
|In-Motion Usage||Allowed||Not Allowed (if using Standard dishy)|
As you can probably guess, both plans are aimed at two completely different types of customers.
While Mobile Priority customers are oftentimes either businesses or (wealthy) individuals living on boats, those subscribed to Roam normally live and travel in their RVs.
There’s certainly some overlap as well. For example, Roam subscribers can also utilize the Flat High Performance antenna if they intend to access the internet while in motion.
However, the more expensive antenna cannot be purchased in every country that Roam is available in. A list of all eligible countries can be found here.
If you intend to use the Standard antenna while in motion, then Starlink reserves the right to void its warranty, meaning you won’t receive a free replacement in case your hardware malfunctions.
With that said, you can still switch from Roam to the Mobile Priority plan – even if you plan to continue using the Standard dish.
Starlink Mobility caters to mobile businesses and individuals seeking high-speed internet while on the move, with plans ranging from 50 GB (aimed at individuals) to 5 TB (for business customers).
In contrast, Starlink Roam is designed for customers living and traveling in RVs, offering lower data speeds and using the Standard Dishy.