SpaceX's Starlink to charge $5,000 per month for service on boats

Starlink, which has over 2,500 satellites in orbit, has surpassed 400,000 subscribers worldwide.

SpaceX's satellite internet service is expanding its footprint to oil rigs, maritime vessels and yachts. 

Starlink Maritime will cost $5,000 per month with a one-time hardware fee of $10,000 for two ruggedized, high-performance terminals. 

SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that while the $5,000 charge is premium pricing, it is "way cheaper & faster than alternatives."

"SpaceX was paying $150k/month for a much worse connection to our ships!," Musk added.

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Starlink Maritime is currently available in coastal waters around the United States, Europe, New Zealand, most of Australia and parts of South America. 

The service is billed in one-month increments, allowing users to customize it to their individual needs, and can be paused or un-paused at any time.

Starlink users can expect download speeds of 100 to 350 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 20-40 Mbps while at sea. However, latency, or the time it takes to send data from one point to the next, is worse compared to other Starlink tiers at <99 milliseconds.

In addition to withstanding extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain, and gale force winds, Starlink Maritime also holds up against rocket engines.

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Starlink, which is currently available in 32 countries, charges $110 per month for its standard service and $500 per month for business service. The Starlink kit costs $549 for deposit holders and $599 for new orders.

In May, SpaceX introduced Starlink for RVs, which will cost $135 per month. The total includes a $25 per month portability fee, which allows customers to temporarily move their Starlink dish anywhere within the same continent where active coverage is available. 

A Starlink satellite dish sits near an RV

Starlink for RVs is ideal for camping and other activities in rural or remote locations where internet access has been unreliable or completely unavailable. (SpaceX)

The unveiling of Starlink Maritime comes about a week after SpaceX received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to use Starlink on vehicles in motion.

Starlink's in-motion service operates in the 12.2 to 12.7 gigahertz band and must accept any interference, according to the FCC. Starlink in-motion services must not cause harmful interference to any authorized service in the band, whether licensed or not.

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SpaceX has already reached agreements to provide Starlink to Hawaiian Airlines and semi-private air carrier JSX. In addition, Royal Caribbean sent a request to the FCC to use Starlink for its cruise ships, according to a June 10 letter obtained by PC Magazine.

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In February, founder Elon Musk said Starlink had over 250,000 terminals in operation. In a May 2022 presentation filed with the FCC, SpaceX revealed that Starlink has over 400,000 subscribers worldwide. 

Over 2,500 Starlink satellites have been launched into orbit to date, and the constellation is currently authorized for a total of 4,408 satellites, all in orbits at around 342 miles.