In today’s world, having reliable internet access is essential. However, traditional fixed-line broadband services may not be available in certain areas, leading to the emergence of alternative technologies such as satellite internet and cellular mast internet. In this blog, we will compare two popular options available in the UK: Starlink and Mastband. By understanding their strengths, limitations, and suitability for different scenarios, you can make an informed decision based on your specific needs, whether you are a business or domestic broadband user.
Starlink, developed by SpaceX, aims to provide global broadband coverage using satellites in low Earth orbit. On the other hand, Mastband, part of the Obedio family, leverages the extensive coverage of cellular masts across 98% of the UK’s landmass, offering fibre-like speeds to areas where standard broadband is not accessible.
Throughout this blog, we will discuss various aspects, including pricing and equipment, support, fixed IP addresses, and speed. These factors play a crucial role in determining the suitability of each service for your requirements.
Pricing & Equipment – Starlink vs. Mastband
Pricing and equipment are important considerations. Mastband stands out as the more affordable option, with domestic packages offering equipment and basic installation for around £900 including all equipment (tools/poles etc. anything need to fit the equipment, in a tidy and presentable manner without causing any damage to the existing property), and a running cost of £30 per month for unlimited data. Notspot, part of the Mastband service, also provides a very affordable finance option for businesses in the UK, with monthly costs starting at £58, including all the equipment needed, free installation and unlimited data. In contrast, Starlinks Domestic offering is charging £470 for the standard equipment and then £75 per month running cost for their standard residential package. Starlink’s business equipment costs £2,410, and monthly subscription fees range from £180 to £1,080, depending on the data requirements. Additional installation charges and shipping fees from overseas further impact the overall cost of Starlink.
When it comes to customer support, Starlink has faced challenges in developing a responsive format for customers who seek assistance. Limited options for UK-based customer support have been reported, resulting in delays in resolving queries, taking on average 2-3 weeks for an emailed reply. For UK Starlink customers that aren’t from a tech background their best option is to go through a third-party installer to ensure the knowledge of the product is there, providing peace of mind to customers. On the other hand, Notspot, being UK-based, allows them to offer customer support for 9 hours a day and promptly dispatch engineers if on-site assistance is required, they can be contacted by phone, email or through any of their social channels and have a fast response time. Notspot is also now working with local councils to supply Mastband to the very hard-to-reach areas of the UK that are not going to benefit from the rollout of fibre broadband anytime soon or if at all.
Mastband also provides the advantage of fixed IP addresses, which are essential for businesses utilising CCTV and IoT technologies. In contrast, unfortunately, Starlink does not currently offer a fixed IP service directly to its customers. Many customers chose to go through a third party that can provide fixed IP to their property bypassing Starlink.
Speeds | Starlink vs. Mastband
Along with their vast marketing efforts and backing from Elon Musk, Speeds are what has made Starlink so attractive the fact you can achieve speeds fast enough to stream in HD in the middle of a desert is something that impressed all. There is no doubt that Starlink will increase your speeds in very hard-to-reach areas. However, problems may arise in areas that are heavily surrounded by trees or other signal-blocking factors, which causes many Starlink users in the UK especially rural users to have to mount their tech on top of extremely high lines to gain a strong signal. Also, the UK Starlink average upload is around 9mbps which is very low in comparison to the download that we usually see from Starlink users. Mastband has been seen to reach speeds that are as fast of what we know Starlink is capable of in hard-to-reach areas of the UK. This is because the UK is a highly developed country with vast infrastructure available which Mastband takes advantage of, to achieve fibre-like speeds.
When considering your choice of internet service, it is important to evaluate the required speeds. Notspot’s experience indicates that the installed equipment has provided ample speeds for consumer needs. While Starlink may offer slightly higher speeds at an additional cost, factors such as price, UK-based support, and experience working with UK companies make Mastband a compelling option for UK users. However, we acknowledge personal preferences, and if Starlink remains your preferred choice, we are here to assist with supply and installation to ensure a smooth experience.