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Users give rave reviews of Starlink’s maritime service

Photo: NYK Starlink antenna installation on board a vessel
Starlink antenna installation on board a vessel
Product reviews are not the normal fare of Seatrade Maritime News but an article on Space X’s Starlink maritime communications service prompted a number a of readers to give their firsthand experience.

Starlink uses a constellation of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites operated by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Achieving global coverage for shipping earlier this year the maritime service has been recently launched.

The reaction on this writer’s LinkedIn post was hugely positive from those who have experienced using the internet on vessels equipped with Starlink and underscored the highly positive PR statements from companies trialling the service.

The comments noted a huge improvement over current VSAT services both for corporate and crew welfare usage. One described it as a “game changer” having been onboard two vessels with the service, while another who had just come from vessel with Starlink described it as “absolutely brilliant” and “great for crew welfare”.

Another comment writer, onboard a vessel currently using the service said it was “such an improvement” over vessels not using the LEO-based connection. Starlink was also described as being both more reliable and lower cost.

According to SpaceX maritime plans for Starlink start at $250 per month for 50GB, and $1,000 for 1TB. It says that it offers “high speed connectivity” for “boats of all sizes”, with the service also targeting leisure as well as corporate users.

Shipping companies that have publicly announced they are using or trialing the service include, Columbia Ship Management (CSM), Costamare, Enesel SA, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Solstad, Anglo-Eastern, Mitsui OSK Lines, and NYK.