Starlink in Poland – downloads on average more than 100 Mb / s

It is estimated that 40-47% of the world’s population may not be online. That’s less than 3.6 billion people without access to the virtual world. There are those who do not have internet in our country. Although 90% of households in Poland are connected to the network, some of them have to resort to alternatives, including the Starlink service offered by Elon Musk. Is it worth betting on this solution?

Starlink is a modern technology that can change the way we connect to the network

Recently, Starlink was very noisy, especially because we can not only admire the sky, but also get access to its services. Elon Musk’s initiative seems relatively simple. Starlink is a satellite tower that will provide access to the Internet on a global scale. And it’s actually global – that is, where ordinary LTE can’t reach, for example (at least on Earth).

Similar technologies have been developed over the years. Starlink has had some marketing and commercial success, which will be reflected in future such initiatives. Looking at the offer of this company, several questions arise. Who is Starlink actually created for? Is it worth considering Elon Musk’s company as an internet provider? At this point, the answer to the second question is quite negative, but it is definitely worth looking at the development of Starlink. Let’s check the advantages of the telecommunication system SpaceX.

Networking the world is one of the priorities of technology giants

Who is Starlink for? This initiative has several different target groups. The base of users who are not “connected” to the network is really large. Elon Musk’s proposal is superior. But the problem is the diversity of this group. People without access to the Internet are all over the world. This could be a US citizen earning a net 15,000 PLN per month, as well as a Polish resident with several times lower income. He can also be a citizen of one of the sub-Saharan African countries, earning no more than 500 PLN. The latter of these categories is the most common. A significant number of potential Starlink customers will not only not be able to buy it, but will also be unable to physically pay their monthly internet fee.

If you look at it this way, you can conclude that Starlink is actually a solution for the elite who can make good money in countries with good living standards. The paradox is that access to the Internet is very common in such countries. Starlink itself emphasizes in the documents for investors that the proposed solutions are not aimed at “profitability” – on the contrary, they are simply unprofitable..

The main problem of Starlink: price

Many potential consumers – especially those whose earnings do not allow them to spend about 450 PLN on the Internet systematically – emphasize that the Starlink service is a solution for the practically chosen. There is no question of encouraging everyone to access the Internet. These sounds are amplified when you know that the ground infrastructure itself is worth 2,269 PLN.. In addition, delivery of accessories to the place of location is up to 276 PLN.

So Starlink is really expensive. We are talking about an amount that greatly exceeds the cost of alternative installation – whether cable, radio or LTE with a special receiver.

Or maybe Starlink is the internet for delicate people?

It also seems that at least some of the recipients of Starlink services are people with large financial resources and simply want to take an active part in the technological revolution. We are talking about technology enthusiasts who have to see each innovation from several angles. Such people will no doubt like Starlink – it gives them a chance to use a service that will be remembered for many years as something extremely modern and unique.. However, this has little practical benefit; Thus, Starlink does not pay attention to this audience. In fact, Elon Musk should not make significant marketing efforts in this direction – who will buy, who will buy.

On the other hand, Starlink is also not for people who really need it. Price is an effective firewall that sets a certain access threshold for users. About 450 PLN per month is not the amount that the average household in Poland and even poorer countries can spend per month. Often there are more important investments. As for countries such as Poland, the “standard” infrastructure is constantly evolving and the availability of available services is very high, which significantly reduces the demand for Starlink.

Internet access in Poland

Home internet map

As you can see, the major LTE and landline service providers do not have so many “white spots” on the Internet coverage maps. As can be seen, the quality of Internet services in Poland, despite very intensive development, is still undesirable compared to other EU countries. The main reason is that the stationary infrastructure, which cannot be fully compensated by mobile networks, has been neglected for a long time.

So there are many places where the internet is very slow or just not there. We are not talking about a comfortable, high-speed optical fiber, but any network – for example, LTE. The development of network infrastructure in such areas can take years. That is why residents of mountainous and forested areas or sparsely populated areas are trying to find alternative solutions. In such cases, the alternative is LTE internet with a special antenna, which is popular in our country. But even in some places, these solutions do not provide the required quality. But the question is, will you be able to pay about half a thousand Internet bills a month?

Can we expect a reduction in the prices of Starlink services?

In reality, Starlink looks like an expensive service, but in practice it is difficult to determine its profitability. This is mainly due to the lack of competition. Starlink offers a very unique service that reaches a very specific audience. Thanks to its narrow specialization (and rich know-how, which is literally a light year away from competition), it is rapidly advancing in its segment. This is a sector that has never been viable before, despite the fact that large technology corporations are on the list of priorities.

At this point, Starlink should keep prices high – the technology itself is very expensive. The construction of the infrastructure and the research that led to the creation of the Starlink network will cost a lot of money. Now is the time to return some of the capital you have invested. However, this does not mean that such a high tariff for a monthly subscription will remain.

The two main factors that determine the price of Starlink services – expensive technology and lack of competition – will change rapidly. The cost of building and delivering satellite infrastructure for Starlink should be reduced. In this case, the main component of the cost of services is already developed and applied know-how. It is difficult to estimate how much margin (if any) Starlink receives for its services. However, it seems that at present this is not an excessive amount, especially in relation to surface infrastructure – it is very expensive, although work is being done to reduce its cost.

Starlink’s competition is just waiting to stumble

Starlink is the only well-known and effective internet provider involved in the creation of its own satellite tower. This does not mean that no one is following him. At this point, Amazon (Kuiper Systems) and Microsoft (Azure Orbital) are also developing their constellations. The British OneWeb came out of the race to the wilderness of the Internet. It is noteworthy that the largest players in the market are interested in the topic of satellites that provide the Internet. The game is very tense for the next user masses.

The competition, which aims to seize underdeveloped areas by the network, has been talked about for some time. Now, despite the fact that the first opponent has just started, the race is getting stronger. The rest assess their chances, prepare for a long marathon and determine the best route. In the future, the Internet may look completely different from what we see today.

In Polish reality, Starlink means very little, but does not change much

From the point of view of our country, this technology does not make much sense – it is very expensive, and there are very few cases where Starlink technology works. There is no solid economic basis for such initiatives, at least in the next few years, there will be more broadcasting stations and optical fibers in Poland. However, Starlink is targeting more (and higher!) Than the European and American markets, where Internet access is very common.. The company itself will grow over the next few months, but over decades.

Of course, there will be customers in our country who like Starlink’s offer. People who do not have access to LTE, do not have a regular or fiber-optic connection, and do not have a chance to bring the appropriate infrastructure to their homes, should definitely take an interest in Starlink. However, it may not be the best idea to invest a few thousand zlotys in infrastructure now. Given the strong competition, the reduction in the cost of surface infrastructure production and the need to popularize Starlink in a large number of markets, this price is likely to fall.

However, Starlink seems to have a special problem in determining its target audience. In the coming years, it is necessary to check whether this is an Internet for the elite, or an investment in the activation of the population, which until now was completely deprived of the Internet. Is it possible to get a discount to make Starlink normal? So far, there is little evidence of this – however, it is worth noting that communication technologies are developing at a dizzying rate, and the situation could change dramatically in the next few years.

Starlink in Poland – information from March 2022

Starlink in Poland - map for March 2022

Despite the relatively high price, Starlink has already attracted the interest of a large group of users in Poland. According to the results of our tests, Internet users use this connection mainly near the largest cities, especially in the western and central regions of the country. The speed is not yet equal to the best fiber-optic offers, but it agrees with the initial promises of Elon Musk, who announced a reduction between 50 and 150 Mb / s. The average download speed is currently 108 Mb / s, and the download is less than 19 Mb / s. Ping is about 60 milliseconds.

As we have guessed, the main obstacle to Starlink’s popularity today is profitability, so this type of connection is not yet very popular among other users who do not have Internet access. Nevertheless, satellite internet from Elon Musk is growing quite fast; Both the number of subscribers and the download and upload speed are increasing. One of the problems is the relatively high ping, which makes Starlink inadequate in some applications. Elon Musk announced that in the next few years and possibly months it will be possible to achieve ping speeds of up to 20 ms and 10 Gb / s..

Download [Mb/s] Download [Mb/s] Ping [ms]
108.79 18.79 59.58
Statistics for Starlink – SpeedTest in 2022

Sources: forex.com, MIT Technology Review, Starlink

Main photo: Starlink Mission, Official SpaceX Photos; Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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