RebelRoam CEO and co-founder Tarvo Topolev shared he tested SpaceX Starlink Internet service on a yacht while sailing around the Greek Islands. RebelRoam is a company in Estonia that provides WiFi for public transportation. Topolev tested Starlink at sea for a week to see if it would be a good option for his RebelRoam customers. -"It was surprisingly good," he shared with Business Insider reporters. "There were some outages and sometimes we had to manually reboot it ... but basically it worked ... almost all the time."
Topolev said Starlink is a good solution for internet connectivity at sea "[...] because big cruise ships are using geostationary satellites, which have a huge latency and it's ridiculously expensive for the speeds that they're getting," he explained. SpaceX offers maritime Starlink coverage from its constellation of approximately 3,200 satellites in Low Earth Orbit that beam internet directly to user terminals with low-latency because the satellites are closer to Earth. Geostationary satellites operate at an altitude of around 36,000 kilometers (km) above the Earth’s equator, and Starlink satellites currently in orbit operate at varying orbital parameters with altitudes between 530 km and 570 km.
Topolev said he spent around $600 USD when he ordered the Starlink hardware and selected the "Starlink for RV" package that would enable them to test the service at different locations. They did not provide reporters with more details about the exact internet speed numbers, SpaceX has previously said it aims to provide internet with low-latency of 20 milliseconds. SpaceX does offer a 'Starlink Maritime' coverage which offers - "High-speed, low-latency internet with up to 350 Mbps [Megabits per second] download while at sea. $5,000/mo with a one-time hardware cost of $10,000 for two high performance terminals," according to the Starlink.com website. Topolev appears to have bought the standard Starlink user terminal with the RV package which is primarily designed for use at remote locations on land "where there is active coverage," says SpaceX's website, but it still gave RebelRoam good service while navigating around the Greek Islands.
Royal Caribbean Group, the world's second largest cruise ship operator, tested Starlink in July and employees were impressed by the high-speed internet service. Royal Caribbean is already providing SpaceX’s Starlink internet to 'Freedom of the Seas' cruise ship passengers. The company announced on August 30, it became the first in the cruise industry that is working to implement SpaceX Starlink Internet onboard its entire fleet of ships.
Featured Images Source: SpaceX
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.