Telstra has launched its consumer Starlink offering today, selling a plan that’s cheaper than Starlink itself sells, but with slower maximum download speeds.

 

What is Starlink?

Starlink is a satellite internet network offering lower latency internet connections in remote and regional locations, compared with internet on geostationary satellites. Starlink is engineered by SpaceX.

With Telstra Satellite Internet powered by Starlink, you can make video calls, stream and game online, and enjoy other data-hungry activities that previously were difficult with geostationary satellite internet.

Telstra Satellite Internet plans include the latest Telstra Smart Modem 3 for use, to give you an optimal home Wi-Fi experience plus a home phone service.

If you leave within 24 months, simply return the modem or pay a $200 non-return fee.

Telstra’s Starlink plan is billed at $125 per month, and is limited to speeds of 50Mbps.

UNLIMITED DATA

Satellite Home Internet, UNLIMITED DATA

Powered by Starlink

$125 Monthly

Plus the cost of the Standard Starlink Kit

Plan speeds

Estimated typical speeds 7pm-11 pm

  • 50 Mbps download
  • 10 Mbps upload

 

Meanwhile, Starlink charges $139 per month, but provides speed guidance of between 20Mbps and 100Mbps for its residential plans.

In both cases, you’re looking at $599 in upfront hardware fees. See Below

What you get with your Starlink Kit ($599 Outright)

Your Starlink Kit includes:

  • Starlink antenna
  • Kickstand
  • Gen 3 Router
  • Starlink Cable (15 m)
  • AC Power Cable (1.5 m)
  • Power Supply

 

Your Telstra Smart Modem 3 will arrive in a separate package and is the Black tower on the right. The other white device is the Starlink router

You’ll receive a tracking order reference number from StarTrack. You’ll also get notifications when your package is on its way, and when it’s delivered.

The other key difference is Telstra’s Starlink plans also come with its third-generation Smart Modem which means that you will have a Phone Line

Does Telstra Satellite Internet include a phone service?

Yes! Your Telstra Satellite Internet plan includes a home phone service, with unlimited calls to standard Australian mobiles and landlines.

Can I keep my existing home phone number?

If you have an existing Telstra home phone service, you can keep your number when you sign up for Telstra Satellite Internet. Unfortunately, if you have an existing home phone service with another provider, you won’t be able to keep that number.

This provides an easy option for using a home phone with Starlink, as well as 4G backup for those that live in a Telstra mobile coverage area.

4G backup speeds are limited to 25Mbps, as with Telstra’s NBN backup.

4G backup is arguably more beneficial with technology like Starlink, which is more prone to outages due to issues like obstructions. It’s worth noting that 4G will only spin up if there’s an issue with satellite connectivity. If the Starlink connection drops out and requires 4G fallback, the delay can still be enough to kick you out of a video call, for example.

The Smart Modem 3 can also be paired with Telstra Wi-Fi Boosters in larger houses. These cost $288 each but you can use a Mesh solution from any other provider such as Google, Netgear, D-Link etc

Otherwise, Telstra’s Starlink offering also includes a standard Starlink modem and satellite dish. Customers don’t need to use the Telstra Smart Modem 3, but it is needed for 4G backup and phone calls.

There are a few logistics worth considering if you’re thinking about Starlink. The biggest is the placement of the satellite dish itself.

It needs a clear view of the sky for optimal connectivity, and objects like trees and antennas can be an issue. There’s also the fact the satellite dish lives outside, while the modem is inside. They’re connected via a 15m cable (which also powers the satellite dish) so there’s some flexibility.

(It is worth noting that it’s illegal to do your own fixed cabling in Australia. Any under-floor, in-wall, or in-roof cabling must be done by a registered cabler.)

If you’re putting the Starlink dish on a roof, you may want a mount to keep it in place. Telstra sells these starting at $75 outright. Telstra currently isn’t offering professional installation, but plans to do so in the second half of the year.

As with Starlink itself, Telstra has a 30-day service guarantee. If Starlink doesn’t end up being right for you, you can return the kit within their first 30 days and get a full refund of both hardware and plan fees.