SpaceX has announced a “Starlink for RVs” internet service, and at the moment there’s no waitlist for dishes.
“At this time, there is no waitlist — all orders will be shipped shortly after the order is placed,” SpaceX says on its website.
With an influx of orders expected, SpaceX can’t promise fast delivery for long. Indeed, the company adds, “Supply is subject to network and equipment availability.”
SpaceX says the new RV service will be ideal for those who want to take internet connectivity with them when they hit the road. RV adventures, weekend camping trips, and stays at second homes are cited as typical cases where the new service would come in useful.
Starlink for RVs can be used anywhere Starlink provides service and is ideal for camping and other activities in rural or remote locations where internet access has been unreliable or completely unavailable → https://t.co/tWDPs3JDWK pic.twitter.com/qQrno7nyFs
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) May 23, 2022
Subscribers to the Starlink RV service will have to fork out $599 for the dish and $135 per month for the internet connection. Compared to the cost of the long-established residential service, the hardware cost is the same, while the monthly fee stands at $110. Starlink for RVs also offers the ability to pause and un-pause service, allowing users to customize their service to their individual travel needs and therefore better control their spending.
There are, however, a few things to consider. For example, Starlink broadband will only work where SpaceX provides active internet coverage. Also, connectivity isn’t available while a vehicle is in motion (though some determined customers have apparently made it happen), though SpaceX is working on adding this to the service.
Also, Starlink for RVs will offer a “best effort service,” in other words, network resources will be de-prioritized compared to other Starlink services, which SpaceX says will result in a “degraded service and slower speeds in congested areas and during peak hours.” It adds that “stated speeds and uninterrupted use of the service are not guaranteed” during peak hours, explaining that service degradation will be most extreme in areas listed as “waitlist” locations (for the regular Starlink service), which can be viewed on the Starlink Availability Map. In short, customers can expect download speeds of between 5 Mbps and 100 Mbps when the service is stretched, compared to between 50 Mbps and 250 Mbps with the regular service.
Starlink recently launched a Residential+Portability (R+P) service, which is a little different from Starlink for RVs. SpaceX says R+P is ideal for customers who travel a few months a year, with the same dish able to be used. Existing Starlink customers can add Portability for an extra $25 per month on top of the monthly $110 residential fee. At the residential service address, Portable customers can access maximum internet speeds, but similar to RV, slower speeds could occur in congested areas and during peak hours. Notably, no pause capability is available with R+P.
Customers can try Starlink for RVs for up to 30 days. If customers aren’t satisfied with the service, SpaceX offers a full refund of the hardware costs.
SpaceX’s Starlink internet service is powered by a network of around 2,000 satellites in low-Earth orbit. Earlier this year SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Starlink currently has more than 250,000 customers in around 25 countries, with more coming online this year.