Blog 5: Starlink versus 5G

29. april 2021

Can Elon Musk’s StarLink play a role alongside 4G/5G internet? 

Since a few weeks Starlink (Beta) test sets can be ordered in some European countries to test the network in Europe. Starlink uses satellites that orbit the earth to provide the world with internet. It is expected that around 16,000 satellites will be needed to provide a reasonably complete network.
Currently, about 10% of these satellites have been launched. In terms of speed, I hear that 50Mbps/10Mbps is possible if there are enough satellites above the customer location. In a few years’ time, Starlink should have a network with good coverage. 

There are plenty of areas in Europe where fixed internet connections are inadequate; in Germany, for example, 50% of the population and businesses in almost half of the Länder have less than 16Mbps download speed available. Digital education or video conferencing is with such a speed impossible. 

It is very understandable that people are looking for alternatives, and Starlink could be such an alternative. Thanks to a gigantic PR offensive by Elon Musk, Starlink is a well-known player and by some seen as the holy grail if you want faster internet. 

As a developer of 4G and 5G internet connections, we understand and endorse the vision behind the Starlink project. There are large parts of the world where this is a huge godsend and can offer growth to businesses  that have been waiting for this for so long. 

I can imagine that there are whole areas outside Europe where 4G and 5G are not/hardly available and where StarLink can be an addition. I just wonder what useful role Starlink can play in Europe? 

For 4 years now, fast business connections with fixed ip addresses based on 4G have been available all over Europe (EU27/EU28), soon 5G will be added with speeds up to 1000Mbps. 

Can Starlink play a useful role in Europe? Or are they 5 years too late, already outdated in terms of speed compared to 4G, let alone 5G?   

What do you think about this?    


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