The big picture: SpaceX is testing a new service that promises to grant users the ability to connect from almost anywhere in the world, so long as they are on land. Could this be a workaround or loophole that would allow people to use Starlink in regions that haven’t yet approved the service?
According to invitations received by some users (including those still on wait lists for residential service), Starlink Global Roaming commands $200 per month plus the $599 Starlink starter kit. Those who are not happy with the service can return it for a full refund within the first 30 days, and service can be paused or canceled at any time.
SpaceX describes the service as a new technology, and that customers can expect Starlink’s typical high speed, low latency service interlaced with periods of poor connectivity or none at all. This will improve drastically over time, however, so just think of it as early adopter growing pains.
NEWS: Starlink is testing a new “Global Roaming Service” for $200/mo, plus the standard $599 for Hardware. Will they offer this as an add-on for $65/mo like portability? @RealTeslaNorth @MarcusTuck3 pic.twitter.com/kiLMsMkhDY
— Nathan Owens (@VirtuallyNathan) February 17, 2023
The invitation also mentions that users based outside of the US will be responsible for acting as the Importer of Record, meaning it is up to them to ensure the product complies with local import laws and pay any applicable duties or taxes. According to PCMag, at least two users outside of Starlink’s current service area received an invitation for the roaming service.
Global Roaming is one of several portable options that Starlink customers can choose from.
In May 2022, the company launched Starlink for RVs with no wait list. The service debuted at $135 per month but notably, it can not be used while a vehicle is in motion. That limitation was lifted later in the year with the launch of Flat High performance Starlink for RVs, but the startup cost is nearly five times more than the standard kit. Starlink Maritime, meanwhile, brings connectivity to the high seas for those with very deep pockets. Pricing is set at $5,000 per month plus a one-time hardware fee of $5,000 that covers two terminals.