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Starlink Israel – Everything You Need to Know About Musk’s Satellite Internet

Starlink IStarlink Israel – Everything You Need to Know About Musk’s Satellite Internet TCS Israelsrael – Everything You Need to Know About Musk’s Satellite Internet TCS Israel

Everything You Need to Know About Musk’s Satellite Internet

With the launch of Starlink, Elon Musk propelled himself into the high-speed internet industry.

His satellite-based internet offers exceptional coverage, to the point where it can be accessed by people in areas that are traditionally difficult to reach with fiber internet. Rural and remote communities in Israel may finally become connected, especially amidst the news that Musk has agreed on a deal with the Israeli government to launch Starlink in the country.

But with the pending launch of Starlink come some questions.

What is it, exactly? And is Starlink a better choice than fiber or 5G internet for the average Israeli? Perhaps most importantly of all, what is the Starlink Israel price you can expect to pay? Read on to discover the answers to these questions.

What Is Starlink?

What Is Starlink TCS Israel

Starlink calls itself the first ever “satellite constellation,” with each satellite capable of sitting in low Earth orbit to provide broadband-level internet coverage practically anywhere. The technology uses an array of advanced satellites connecting to the user’s hardware. Most important is the “constellation” aspect of the idea – Starlink is made up of thousands of individual satellites. If you lose your connection to one of those satellites, another will be available to pick up that lost connection, creating a near-seamless browsing experience.

The word “constellation” also comes into play in terms of how Starlink differs from other satellite internet services.

The concept of satellites providing internet coverage is hardly new. However, most companies that offer this type of internet rely on a single satellite that orbits Earth at a height of 35,786 kilometers. Starlink satellites are much closer – orbiting at 550 kilometers – and there are so many of them that they can provide internet to the entire world.

Access to Starlink

To access the internet via Starlink satellites, you have to install a small satellite dish at your home to pick up a signal. This can be set up almost anywhere on your home’s exterior, including a roof, yard, or wall. Once the dish is in place, it can pass bandwidth to your home’s router, essentially acting in the same way as a fiber cable would for traditional broadband.

Is Starlink Available in Israel - TCS Israel

Is Starlink Available in Israel?

Starlink is not yet available in Israel. The Starlink website states that the service date is unknown at this time for all Israel locations.  

Slow to Start - TCS Israel

Slow to Start

Despite Starlink’s potential to cover the entire world, it’s seen slower growth than Elon Musk anticipated. SpaceX – the Musk-led company behind the innovation – projected 20 million subscribers by the end of 2022. It’s fallen far short of that, only hitting 2 million subscribers in September 2023.

Still, part of the reason for those lower numbers may be that Starlink was only available in a limited number of countries. Israel was not originally scheduled to be one of those countries. However that looks set to change thanks to an agreement between Musk and Israel.

When will Starlink be available in Israel? 

When will Starlink be available in Israel - TCS Israel

There is no official date that Starlink will be available in Israel. According to Bloomber News, a communication ministry official said on January 7th, 2024 that Israel is expected to give the go-ahead to Starlink to begin providing limited operations in Israel this week.

Here is what has gone on surrounding Starlink in Israel in the recent months.

On November 27, Elon Musk visited Israel to discuss the possibility of launching Starlink in the country. He left with approval, though that approval came with conditions. Chief among these conditions was that Starlink could only be launched with approval from Israel’s Ministry of Communications.

That condition likely came in the wake of a statement Musk published on X in October, when he stated that he would make Starlink available to “Internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza.” Israel naturally took umbrage with this statement, as the country’s minister of communications, Shlomo Karhi, pointed out in a follow-up statement. He claimed that any access to Starlink provided in Gaza would be co-opted by Hamas to help it carry out its terroristic activities. Clearly concerned with that possibility, Musk agreed to meet with Israeli leaders to hash out a plan.

Now, Starlink is ready to launch.

However, it can only do so with approval from Israel, meaning it’s likely that you’ll soon see the widespread provision of the service in Israel itself, along with minimal service in Gaza. At the time of writing, Starlink hasn’t been brought online in Israel. You’re still not able to access the service, and the Starlink website has no Israel-specific packages.

However, it’s coming quick.

How Fast Is Starlink Internet?

How Fast Is Starlink Internet - TCS Israel

While you’ll likely have access to Starlink very soon, perhaps the biggest question is whether it’s worth having that access in the first place. In other words, how does Starlink compare to the internet speeds provided by fiber and 5G internet?

The answer is “fairly well,” though it may have some way to go to convince already-connected Israelis to make the switch.

According to Starlink’s website, the average user achieves download speeds of between 25 and 220 megabits per second (Mbps), with the majority of users apparently enjoying speeds of 100Mbps. However, CNET disputes that number. 

Using data from Ookla – an internet speed tracking service – it found that the service’s average download speed was just 67Mbps in the U.S. during the first quarter of 2023. It had hit its 100Mbps claim two years prior before demand for the service increased, but it appears to be slowing down as more people start using it.

These factors will play an important role in whether you consider the Starlink Israel price to be worth it. After all, Israel’s average fiber internet speed is currently 147.36Mbps – more than double the 67Mbps average speeds that CNET recorded in the United States.

As for 5G, the gap is even wider. Though 5G has the potential to reach download speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second (Gbps), the reality is that the speeds rarely come anywhere close to those levels. But even with that caveat, 5G is generally faster than Starlink in Israel. According to Open Signal, the fastest 5G speeds are available via Partner, which achieves an average of 328.3Mbps. That’s almost five times more than the 67Mbps Starlink average.

Still, there’s one benefit that Starlink offers – it can be made available almost everywhere.

As of June 2023, 83% of Israeli households have access to fiber internet. Though the Israeli government claims this will be 100% by 2027, the fact remains that Starlink will provide broader coverage. Of course, this assumes the installation of the satellite dishes needed to pick up a Starlink signal.

Does Starlink Offer Unlimited Data?

Does Starlink Offer Unlimited Data - TCS Israel

In more good news for prospective Starlink users, its standard residential package offers unlimited data. That puts it in line with most fiber providers – most of which offer unlimited data – and even exceeds some 5G packages. You usually have to pay substantially more for a 5G phone or tablet to get unlimited data, whereas Starlink has no such restrictions.

However, there is a caveat to this unlimited offer.

At the end of 2022, Starlink announced the implementation of speed capping. If you use more than one terabyte of data per month, the service reserves the right to slow your download speeds unless you pay extra to maintain them. You don’t lose internet access. But you may find the slower speeds prevent you from streaming or gaming as you normally would.

What Will Be the Starlink Israel Price?

What Will Be the Starlink Israel Price - TCS Israel

There have been no official announcements related to the Starlink Israel price. The agreement to launch is brand-new – at the time of writing – and further details aren’t forthcoming. It’s unknown if Starlink will be able to offer its services directly or if it will need to partner with organizations approved by the Ministry of Communication.

Still, you can get an idea of what the Starlink Israel price may look like by examining the pricing structure it has in the U.S. Its current packages are as follows:

  • Standard – $120 per month
  • Mobile – $150 to $200 per month
  • Priority – $140 to $500 per month
  • Mobile Priority – $250 to $5,000 per month

On top of those monthly fees, American users also have to pay $599 for the hardware needed to establish their connections, along with a $50 shipping and handling fee.

Assuming a like-to-like currency conversion is implemented in Israel, this would set the Starlink Israel price as the following for each tier:

  • Standard – 437 NIS per month
  • Mobile – 546 NIS to 728 NIS per month
  • Priority – 510 NIS to 1,821 NIS per month
  • Mobile Priority – 910 NIS to 18,214 NIS per month

Add the combined hardware and shipping fees – amounting to about 2,364 NIS – and you get a potentially eye-watering outlay for access to Starlink. In contrast, a basic 200Mb connection with TCS starts at 129 NIS per month, plus you get incredible customer service in English.

However, these prices are speculative, and Starlink may adjust them substantially to bring them in line with the rest of Israel’s internet industry.

Is Starlink Worth Your Time?

Is Starlink Worth Your Time - TCS Israel

The introduction of Starlink into Israel certainly raises some interesting possibilities. It should provide more connection options to those in rural and remote areas, potentially even reducing costs for those who’ve traditionally struggled to get internet access.

However, the technology is far from perfect. It’s generally slower than fiber and 5G internet – often by several multiples – and it requires users to invest in expensive hardware to access. Some may balk at the prospect of paying for a satellite dish when faced with an already-expensive monthly subscription. Still, it’s important to note that the Starlink Israel price hasn’t been announced yet. They may be much lower than the conversion-based prices in this article.

If nothing else, Starlink will provide another option for connectivity, even if that option isn’t necessarily superior to what’s already available. Let us know your thoughts.

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