Starlink has just announced a new Portability option for existing Dishy owners!
A few days ago the answer to the question of Starlink's mobility was unclear, but now there is a very clear answer. Yes, Starlink offers mobile internet services! Starlink just announced its portability option for any Starlink customer. I say option as it is a monthly charge ad-on for $25.00 USD or $30.00 CAD a month, it can be turned on and off through the app once activated in your account.
So you'll only be paying for the months you use it in. This might seem like a fair chunk of change but the options are probably more expensive and not as good, especially for travelers. For the extra $25-30 a month they'll be able to enjoy high speed internet and connectivity almost everywhere they go. I did say almost everywhere, there is a caveat though as you have to use the Starlink service area map to find out where you can get service (not everywhere is covered). Although you can still get service in the dark green areas, it might be reduced as you'll be at the back of the line when it comes to bandwidth usage. The last test we ran with roaming enabled we were seeing speeds of 135Mbps, not too shabby. In regards to service availability in closed areas, Starlink states this "Best Effort Service: Portability service is provided on a best effort basis. Stated speeds and uninterrupted use of services are not guaranteed. Starlink prioritizes network resources for users at their registered service address. When you bring your Starlink to a new location, this prioritization may result in degraded service, particularly at times of peak usage or network congestion." https://support.starlink.com/ Take this as you will, they are not guaranteeing great services in those areas.
In order to turn on Starlink Portability, you need to access your existing account through a browser, on your phone or computer will work. Go to Starlink.com and sign into your account. Look for the MANAGE SERVICE OPTIONS button and press. Then look for writing ADD PORTABILITY and press the little arrow icon beside it. Then a large window will pop up giving you the requirements for signing up.
Once activated it takes effect immediately, the charge will be added to your monthly bill. "When you enable Portability, you are charged on your next monthly invoice. Portability is charged in full monthly increments and can not be pro-rated"(https://support.starlink.com/)
Since they don't pro-rate the usage make sure to make the most of the Portability by turning it on and off at the correct times, you might end up paying extra if you leave it on for a day or two longer.
Either the Gen 1 or 2 Dishy will work, but I personally would say the Gen 2 system does have some advantages when it comes to mobile usage. Both its size and weight make it much easier to carry and pack, as well as it has water resistant connections throughout the whole system. I know every time I go camping it is going to rain, and when it does it is usually very messy and humid, the extra protection in the Gen 2 system will help here for those who live in a more extreme environment.
So what if I don't activate portability, how far can you go If your system is geo fenced, meaning that when you sign up for Starlink and input your land location it essentially locks you to that area, once you move the Dishy out of the service area it loses its connectivity. If you want to get service you have to change your service address location in your Starlink account, be warned here though if you're lucky and they can activate you in your new area, great! But when you go back to your original area you'll have to reapply again to get your Starlink internet reactivated in that area. If your spot has been taken you're going to have to wait until there is an opening...and we know how that has been going so far with long wait times for many customers trying to get their own. So is it worth the risk, or even the work behind it all to save $30.00, it may be for some.
I don't know of any other rural provider that can deliver the bandwidth that Starlink does, we've tried many (have worked for some), and to be honest they are not even playing the same game. Starlink in some cases has delivered 100X the speed! It is a no brainer for now, but the future does remain to be seen. 5G will definitely change the internet landscape in some rural areas.. but enough of my rant.. With our testing so far our range has only been about 1.5 KM, keep in mind that this will change with satellite movement and where you're located in the beam bandwidth. Those who are directly below the Satellites might have a little larger circle to move around in, while those on the edge of the beam might find a lot less mobility. So unless all your plans for bringing Dishy around are in your service radius then plan on activating Portability to be able to use Dishy.
So with Portability, Starlink has once again changed the game. What we thought was good before has now just become better. The option is there now for some to take advantage of, the question that pops up into my mind now is how easy will it be to get a second Dishy and turn it on and off for the season? I know a lot of people will be asking this question. In some cases your home installation might not be easy to remove, especially if it's Gen 1 with the cable attached at Dishy's base. The new 2nd Gen system has detachable cables at both sides, the router and Dishy. Just another reason the 2nd Gen system is better for mobility. Another reason would be home security and connectivity. If Starlink is your main home account and you remove it for a road trip then you'll lose all your home connectivity including security systems. Making it mandatory to keep a connection at home. Ordering a 2nd system and activating for the months you use it would be pricey, but still worth it for the peace of mind. If you cancel your Starlink subscription on the 2nd Dishy during the months of non-use. Activating may not be easy, but because it is a mobile Dishy you will have to find an open activation address to activate. Starlink's website states "Please note - by canceling service, you may not be able to reactivate immediately. Reactivation is dependent on service availability and capacity in your area". Either way you now have options, you just have to do a little research and some work to get it done. Thank you for reading, we hope you enjoyed it. If you have and you want to learn more than please join the Starlink Community Forums for free today!