Starlink Use Cases for Enterprises: Rural Coverage, Backup Connectivity, and More
In this post, we'll run through how Starlink leverages a low Earth orbit to deliver speedy, low-latency broadband internet services across the globe
Often hailed as the most advanced broadband satellite network in the world, Starlink leverages a low Earth orbit to deliver speedy, low-latency broadband internet services across the globe. If you spend any time in tech spaces, you’ll already know satellite internet services have the world buzzing. However, this service offering is hardly a new niche, with the first “satellite internet” offering dating back to the murky depths of 1996. So, satellite internet is old enough that even the most vigilant bartender wouldn’t hesitate to serve it a drink!
With that longevity in mind, what does Starlink offer that makes it a game changer? Today, we unpack Starlink, its use cases for enterprise companies, and what it offers businesses like yours.
Where Starlink Impresses
With satellite internet services one concept is key – position affects latency. Traditionally, providers position their satellites in what’s called geostationary orbit. This puts them in orbit over the equator, at about 22,236 miles (35,786 km) above Earth, with an average latency around the 500-millisecond mark due to the amount of distance packets have to travel. For comparison, a regular coax broadband connection should see latency of 13-27 milliseconds.
By contrast, low Earth orbit operates below 1,200 miles (2,000 km), bringing latency below 50 milliseconds, not way out of line with terrestrial broadband. And, where you need real-time (or near-real-time) communication, low latency is the gold standard. But this massive reduction in latency isn’t Starlink’s only key feature.
Geostationary providers (Hughesnet and Viasat are names to know) typically provide 20 Mbps download and 2 Mbps upload speeds, depending on the precise installation site. Compare that to the 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps upload possible with low Earth orbit.
Starlink is globally oriented regarding coverage. This contrasts with the US-centric focus of most geostationary internet service providers. While there is limited global coverage, it isn't as robust outside US borders.
Ease of Use
Starlink also designs its low Earth orbit equipment so the end user can install it without expertise. This contrasts with most major geostationary providers, who require professional installation.
When Does Using Starlink Make Sense?
With these factors in mind, what Starlink use cases make the most sense for an enterprise?
Where Starlink coverage is on offer, the ease of use, superior speed, and low latency make it an ideal backup to standard broadband or dedicated services, particularly attractive in areas where only one good dedicated / broadband provider is available. This leaves your enterprise agile and responsive in the event of primary broadband service failure.
Rural, Remote, and Off-Grid Uses
The difficulties of securing a fast, responsive internet connection in a remote area are hardly novel. However, as remote offices, retail stores, and other enterprise-level facilities head out of populated areas, the need for a stable, reliable internet connection in remote areas has increased exponentially. Many non-urban areas lack wired connections. LTE and wireless options often lack coverage in these areas as well. In these areas, Starlink shines.
Together with the long-term flight of enterprises into remote areas comes “digital nomads.” No, we don’t mean influencers filing copy from the front row of Paris Fashion Week. Many modern industries need to set up temporary locations with the same reliable digital services as their fixed locales. Some industries even rely entirely on transient locations – oceanic oil rigs and shipping lanes, for example. In many cases, the entire use case is less than the time it would take to run fiber-optic cabling to the temporary site. Again, Starlink is perfect for these cases, with fast setup and service.
Rescue Operations and Disaster Recovery
What happens when your day-to-day business operations fail? From hurricanes and natural disasters to on-premise fires and even acts of war, how do you keep communication stable (and business ticking over) in adverse circumstances?
Ironically, when terrestrial infrastructure is disrupted, fast communication becomes even more important – and infinitely harder to provide. Reliable internet connectivity is a massive boon for coordinating relief efforts, reassuring loved ones, and getting back to business as usual. Unlike most other digital communication channels, satellite connections are rarely disrupted by these events.
Does it sound like Starlink might be a good fit for your business’s unique needs? The Lightyear Telecom Operating System, can help you easily configure your desired connectivity needs and secure quotes / buy with ease, or discuss any questions with our team if you’d like.
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