Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
SpaceX’s Starlink Dominates Satellite Broadband Speeds in Europe, Faces Increasing Competition

According to Ookla, SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband service has emerged as the frontrunner in terms of speed among satellite providers. In speed tests conducted during the second quarter of 2023, Starlink delivered median download speeds of over 100Mbps in 14 European countries. Across the 27 European countries surveyed, Starlink achieved speeds higher than 90Mbps in 20 countries and higher than 80Mbps in 24 countries. Only three countries registered speeds below 70Mbps.

Starlink had encountered challenges in the past, with an influx of new customers causing a decline in download speeds. However, Ookla found that Starlink’s median download speeds are now stabilizing and are comparable to or better than the same period last year in 15 countries. In eight countries, there was a slight decrease in speeds. Starlink even outperformed the combined scores of all fixed broadband providers in several countries.

Regarding upload speeds, Starlink showed a decline compared to the previous year. In the surveyed countries, upload speeds ranged between 10Mbps and 15Mbps, with Poland being the exception at 9.11Mbps. Some countries, such as Portugal, Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Spain, experienced slightly higher upload speeds above 15Mbps.

Ookla also reported on Starlink’s performance in other regions. In New Zealand, the median download speed increased to 113.78Mbps from 105.99Mbps a year ago. In Australia, it rose slightly to 104.92Mbps from 102.76Mbps. However, in remote Tonga, speeds dropped from 45.25Mbps to 37.95Mbps over the same period. In Africa, where Starlink recently started offering its services, Nigerian subscribers enjoyed faster median download speeds of 63.69Mbps compared to fixed broadband providers’ speeds of 15.60Mbps.

While Starlink holds a dominant position, competition is emerging. Amazon’s Project Kuiper, the merger of OneWeb and Eutelsat, and the deployment of HughesNet’s Jupiter 3 array pose potential challenges. Viasat is also deploying high-speed broadband satellites, although delays in the project may impact the satellite industry as a whole.

Additionally, the EU is investing €2.4 billion ($2.6 billion) in the IRIS² program to build a satellite constellation for improved broadband connectivity in underserved areas.

Despite the competition, Starlink continues to expand its services. With over 5,000 satellites in orbit, the company aims to expand further into Africa, Asia, and South America in the coming years.