Broadband connections are often not available, especially in rural areas. An alternative is the internet from satellites in earth orbit.
Satellite internet has been around for many years. However, the speeds have not yet exceeded 50 megabits per second (Mbit / s). But with Eutelsat and Starlink, which belongs to the SpaceX space company of Tesla boss Elon Musk, two providers are now also bringing faster connections from space. 100 megabits per second (Mbit / s) and more are possible. However, with two very different concepts.
Konnect tariffs can already be booked now
Regular tariffs can already be booked nationwide for Eutelsat’s new Konnect satellite. For up to 30 megabits per second (MBit / s) you pay 30 euros per month, for up to 50 MBit / s 45 euros and up to 100 MBit / s add up to 70 euros. The upload is fast up to 5 Mbit / s in all tariffs.
There is also a one-time activation fee of 49 euros and installation costs ( from 99 euros ). The minimum contract period is just under a year, after which it can be canceled on a monthly basis. Eutelsat lends a satellite antenna (74 or 90 centimeters in diameter) and WLAN router at no extra cost.
Also interesting: DVB-T2, satellite, cable, Internet – how you can watch TV most cheaply
Delayed signal from space
A disadvantage of Konnect – and almost all other existing satellite Internet providers – is the delay (latency) of the signals, which cannot be switched off because of the enormous distance: the satellites orbit at an altitude of almost 36,000 kilometers. In technical jargon, they are also called geostationary satellites.
Eutelsat itself advises against using Konnect for services that – such as many online games – require a very fast response from the connection, and points out that heavily secured sites and VPN connections may be difficult to access.
The data volume is unlimited with all tariffs. Depending on the utilization of the satellite, Eutelsat reserves the right to go below the speeds specified in the product information sheets. But only if – depending on the tariff – a data volume of 20, 60 or 120 gigabytes (GB) has been exceeded. Incidentally, this does not include the data transmitted between 1.00 and 6.00 a.m.
Starlink in southern Germany in the test phase
It will take some time before tariffs for Starlink Internet can be booked on a regular basis. Interested parties can enter their address on the project page and then find out when the service should be available in their region. This is often the case in mid or late 2021, sometimes not until 2022.
Starlink can in some cases already be ordered in southern Germany. Whether you get it is another question. Because according to the provider, the number of participants in the test phase is limited in certain areas. And of course you don’t get the service for free, it costs 99 euros a month. Starlink delivers bandwidths between 50 and 150 Mbit / s in the beta phase.
You have to buy the satellite antenna with WLAN router and accessories for 499 euros, plus 59 euros for shipping. That sounds like a lot, but you can set up the antenna relatively easily yourself in the supplied tripod stand and align it with the help of a smartphone app. Installation by specialists – sometimes expensive – is not absolutely necessary.
Also interesting: Many HD television users now have to pay more
Less delay with Starlink
One advantage of the Starlink satellites is their near-Earth orbit at an altitude of less than 600 kilometers. This results in latencies that Starlink specifies in the beta test with values of 20 to 40 milliseconds (ms) and underlines that the Internet connection with these latencies is also suitable for online gaming and video calls.
According to the Federal Network Agency , which allocated the necessary frequencies in December, there are already around 800 small Starlink satellites in orbit, more than 3,600 are to follow, after all, internet connections are to be offered worldwide.
For comparison: If the Internet comes via fiber optics, DSL, cable or 4G cellular network (LTE), the latency is usually somewhere between 5 and 50 ms. 5G mobile communications should even offer latencies of less than 5 ms. In the case of two-way Internet connections via a geostationary satellite, on the other hand, you have to reckon with latencies of 500 ms and more. This not only affects Konnect, but also other Eutelsat satellites, Viasat and Astra satellites. Internet services such as Astra Connect or Eurobroadband are already running on it.