Starlink Mobility: Unleashing Satellite Internet on the Move

Dave Schafer
Aug 02, 2023
Icon Time To Read4 min read

Starlink has been the talk of the satellite internet world since launching in 2019. Since then, the provider’s lineup of plans has seen a lot of changes, and the newest option is here: Starlink Mobility (Also called Starlink Mobile Priority). This plan bears a lot of resemblance to some existing Starlink offerings, however, which can be confusing.

In this article, we’ll explore Starlink Mobility and see where it fits into the overall Starlink lineup, as well as how it compares to other mobile internet options. Let’s dig in!

What is Starlink Mobile Priority?

Starlink Mobility is a new offering from Starlink—sort of. In reality, it’s more of a rebranding of the satellite provider’s in-motion, high-priority data service. Starlink Mobility plans use the Flat High Performance hardware, which is designed to be mounted to a vehicle and used in motion. This purpose makes the plan ideal for emergency response, trucking, and transportation, and Starlink primarily advertises to these sectors.

We’ll be honest—we find this plan a bit confusing, at least at the moment. It would seem to be the only Starlink plan that’s designed for in-motion use and ostensibly would replace the Starlink Roam and Starlink Maritime in-motion options. However, these are still advertised on their respective pages.

That said, it does offer a lot for users that can make use of it. The speeds available are excellent for satellite, at up to 220Mbps download and 25Mbps upload—these speeds are very comparable to cable, which is impressive not only for satellite, but for in-motion satellite to boot.

Starlink Mobility is also considered a Priority service for Starlink, which means users with this plan will get priority during times of increased network demand. This setup makes it ideal for the type of use cases it’s advertised for, since you won’t have to worry about slowdowns due to network congestion.

How much does Starlink Mobility cost?

Here’s our first issue with Starlink Mobility: It’s expensive. And by expensive, we mean expensive. The least expensive plan is $250 per month, and that only gets you 50GB of priority data—enough for light or occasional use, but likely not enough for many users. Now, the plans do offer unlimited standard data, but this won’t carry the same priority status, which could potentially make it unsuitable for mission-critical applications.

Here are the breakdowns of the Starlink Mobility pricing tiers:

Priority data

In addition to the staggering monthly costs, there's also an up-front, one-time equipment fee of $2,500. No, that’s not a typo.

Ultimately, these costs are going to place Starlink Mobility firmly out of reach for many users. Even if you’re in your RV full-time, $250 a month is a lot for internet, and that’s just the base plan. Now, if you have tons of spare cash and the price is no object, you might be just fine with Starlink Mobility for your RV. However, it’s a lot of money for most.

Is Starlink Mobility more expensive than competitors?

Starlink Mobility is very expensive—there’s no arguing that. However, it’s hard to compare it with other mobile internet options because there really aren’t any that match Starlink’s offering. It’s an in-motion service—only cellular internet, like 5G, is available as an in-motion option for most consumers. But Starlink Mobility is satellite internet, so coverage is likely to be much better than cellular, with no need to worry about proximity to cell towers. Finally, Starlink is quite fast for satellite internet, which can open it up to applications that otherwise might not be available—rapid communications, video conferencing, or streaming video.

Ultimately, if you need that in-motion capability and speed, combined with the exceptional coverage of satellite service, Starlink Mobility may be worth the steep cost.

Who is Starlink Mobility best for?

Starlink Mobility is marketed primarily towards mission-critical use cases in the field, such as emergency response and communication with public transportation. It’s also geared towards mobile business use. However, if you’ve got the money to spare, it would be ideal for any sort of mobile, in-use application, such as RVs or campers.

If you don’t need to use the internet in-motion, or don’t need the extreme coverage of satellite, it almost certainly makes more sense to go with either another satellite plan (such as one of Starlink’s other offerings) or a mobile hotspot plan from a cellular provider like T-Mobile.

Alternatives to Starlink Mobility

If Starlink Mobility seems a bit out of reach, don’t worry—you’ve got plenty of other options for mobile internet or rural internet.

5G internet

Perhaps the best analog for Starlink Mobility would be a 5G plan from one of the major cellular carriers. There are several options here:

  • A cellular plan with hotspot data, using your phone as the hotspot
  • A separate data plan with a dedicated hotspot
  • A 5G home internet plan

All three major carriers—T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T—offer these options. The cell plans and hotspot plans are most useful for the types of in-motion or on-the-go applications we’re discussing here. Any of these options will be much more affordable than Starlink Mobility, and the coverage is getting quite good as well, although it’s still not as widespread as satellite.

Other Starlink plans

Starlink offers several other satellite internet plans that may suit your needs. While none offer the in-motion capability of Starlink Mobility, they are all more affordable. There are a few options that may suit your needs:

  • Starlink Standard: This is Starlink’s residential satellite internet service, designed for people that only need satellite internet at a single, fixed location.
  • Starlink Roam: Roam is Starlink’s RV and portable service. It’s not designed for in-motion use, but the dish can be taken from place to place and set up as needed.
  • Starlink Maritime: Starlink Maritime is very similar to Starlink Mobility, but geared towards boats and other setups on the ocean.

As we said above, there’s a chance that the Roam and Maritime offerings will be changing—Starlink Mobility seems intended to replace them on some level, although we can’t be totally sure what that will look like yet. As of this writing, both are still available to order on the Starlink website.

Other satellite internet providers

If you intend to use your internet service in a single, fixed location, such as a home or regular campsite, you can also consider two of our favorite satellite providers—Hughesnet and Viasat.

Data limit

Both providers offer flexible plan selections so you can get the speed you need without overpaying. The major difference between the two is that Hughesnet offer unlimited data, while Viasat does not.

Campground Wi-Fi

Finally, if you’re looking for RV internet, or something to use on the road, you can always opt to use campground Wi-Fi (or any other public network). The main advantage here is that these networks are generally free to use. Of course, the disadvantages are that they’re public (and thus less secure), and they tend to be slower than some of the other options on this list. This is a potentially viable option, but it’s our least favorite on this list.

Get faster mobile internet with Starlink Mobility

Starlink’s newest satellite offering, Starlink Mobility, promises to help power your on-the-move connection. The speeds, data allotments, and ability to use the service while in motion are all major positives. However, Starlink Mobility is extremely expensive, likely putting it out of reach for most casual non-business users.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of alternatives available these days, including 5G mobile internet and other satellite providers. Whatever your needs, we’re sure you can find the perfect plan for you.

Dave Schafer
Written by
Dave Schafer
Dave has written professionally for tech companies and consumer technology sites for nearly five years, with a special focus on TV and internet. He uses his industry expertise to help readers at get the most out of their services. No matter the project, he prefers his coffee black (the stronger, the better).