© ESA-P. Carril
SpaceX spends billions of dollars every year developing rockets and satellites. Part of these investments are reimbursed by the profits of Starlink, a subsidiary of the group.
It offers a satellite internet subscription service to offer a very high-speed connection to anyone, anywhere on the planet. Starlink has already been talked about on numerous occasions. If it allows van-lifers to watch their Netflix series in 4K, it also makes it possible to restore internet access in countries at war like Ukraine. During the first clashes with Russia, the help provided by Starlink was decisive in coordinating Ukrainian defense.
Starlink, alone in the world& ;nbsp;?
If Starlink is today the best known and most used satellite internet solution, it is far from being the only one. Indeed, other companies work on this same principle.
This is particularly the case of the British company One Web which has long been Starlink's direct competitor. On the other side of the Atlantic, it is the e-commerce giant Amazon which is trying to find a place in this market with its Kuiper project (which should take shape in 2024).
Orange launches into satellite internet
But in France too, satellite internet offers exist. A few weeks ago, the historic operator Orange launched its service. Using its subsidiary specializing in satellite internet Nordnet, Orange was able to launch an offer on its website to equip millions of homes.
The offer offered on the Orange site offers a subscription at €49.99 per month (with a one-year commitment and the first month free). You will also have to pay €35 activation fees and €15 delivery costs. But above all, you will have to take €299 out of your pocket if you are not eligible for the “Territorial Digital Cohesion” subsidy. The latter allows anyone who does not have access to optical fiber to choose a satellite internet offer.
In the event of low income, the person benefiting from aid can receive up to 600 euros. You can test your eligibility for this state aid with this link. https://www.amenagement-numerique.gouv.fr/fr/bonhautdebit-aidefinanciere
Orange or Starlink, who to choose ?
If this offer from Orange risks attracting many people, it would not be worth It's not better to turn to Starlink to save some money. If the quality of the internet connection should not vary between the two proposals, Starlink offers a box kit for €450, an advantage to Orange on this point. But the Starlink subscription is only €40 per month, so in less than two years you have repaid the price difference between the two kits.
Finally, Starlink offers, just like Orange, a two-year warranty on technical breakdowns that may affect the kit. The last argument that could convince some is that Starlink has very good customer service that can be reached every day, but the American company is not well established like Orange. It does not have the same brand image either.
Who is satellite internet for?
If you wish to turn to a satellite internet offer, you must therefore take all these points into consideration. Both the prices and the quality of after-sales service. The connections are both similar with reports around 200 Mbps down and 15 Mbps up.
This network quality can be a dream, but satellite internet is not for everyone. Indeed, this solution is primarily intended for people who do not otherwise have access to very high speed (people who do not have optical fiber). In France this concerns only a few people, and fiber should arrive in all homes by the end of 2025.
Another disadvantage is that the satellite internet connection de facto causes a certain latency. The connection may also not be as reliable as with fiber optics. In fact, a satellite must pass above your head to provide you with internet. No satellites, no connection.
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