Starlink is offering the ability to use your Starlink dish terminal and Internet service in a transportable manner around the same continent.
Here, this will be offered as an extra-cost feature to your subscription with costing USD$25 per month. You can enable and disable this feature as required which can come in to its own with those of us who use Starlink when camping or caravanning during the holiday seasons, or when running a temporary remote worksite.
The requirements for Starlink’s portability feature include:
- The device to be used within the same continent as the registered address of service and to be within Starlink’s coverage footprint
- To change the registered address of service if you are away from your current service address for more than two months
- To use the Starlink terminal in a stationary location rather than in a vehicle or craft that is in motion
You will expect best-case performance at the location you are temporarily using Starlink at because this low-earth-orbit satellite system is currently engineered to prioritise uses who have registered their Starlink service at that location.
The fact that the Starlink setup is not fully mobile and requires you to have equipment stationary while in use would come in to its own with certain use cases. For example, a recreational-vehicle or boat user who moves around would set up their Starlink setup when they have set up camp or moored their boat and only while they are at that location. Similarly a temporary mobile office would set up their Starlink terminal when they have arrived at where they want to work at.
There doesn’t seem to be any information about permanently installing a Starlink dish terminal in a vehicle, transportable building or boat. This approach may satisfy those of us who regularly take that vehicle, building or vessel to a particular location but want to reduce the number of tasks required to set oneself up at that location.
Another question that will come up regarding the “same continent” rule is whether islands that are located close to the continent but are politically separate from that continent are considered thus, even though they have Starlink service. This may be of concern where the island or islands are separated from the content by a day or overnight trip in a car ferry or, in the case of UK and France, a short train trip through a tunnel.
There is still the intent to offer a fully-portable service where the Starlink satellite Internet service can be used in a moving vehicle or vessel. This may have to be initially offered as an inland / coastal service relative to a continent which may satisfy most use cases like trains and coaches moving across a country or boats that are “under way” in inland or coastal waters.
I suspect that this will come about when Starlink is offered in more areas as an Internet backbone for general public-transport situations like air travel, cruise ships and long-distance trains.