Starlink Internet vs. 5G internet supremacy battle has recently captured global attention.
As high-speed and dependable internet access become increasingly crucial, companies are rolling out new technologies to advance their connectivity.
Starlink is the latest from SpaceX and is already shaping up as the best satellite preferred among many users, especially in remote areas.
5G, on its side, is the latest generation and the most powerful mobile internet network, popular mostly in urban areas.
So, how do they compare, and which one should you choose? We are here to help you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- Starlink Vs. 5G Network: Comprehensive Comparison
- What is Our Final Verdict?
Starlink Vs. 5G Network: Comprehensive Comparison
These two network providers differ in several aspects, from how they work to pricing and anything in between.
How to do Starlink Internet and 5G Network Work?
Starlink uses a network of satellites to deliver internet to users.
The signal moves from the satellite to customers with the aid of a dish antenna, then made available by your router or modem.
Starlink doesn’t have a data cap. That is, you will enjoy unlimited data connections.
However, the speed and reliability of the connection will depend on the plan you choose.
Starlink has three tiers of data priority, and each of its plans uses either. The fastest is the mobile priority, Standard, then the mobile tier.
Business, Maritime, and aviation plans all use mobile priority and will enjoy preference during peak hours.
The residential plan uses the standard tier, while RV uses the mobile tier, which has the lowest priority.
5G technology transmits data through radio waves using cell sites like previous cellulars.
Cell sites can connect to the network via wired or wireless.
It works by modifying data encoding and increasing the number of usable airwaves for carriers.
5G technology offers three signal variations: mid-band 5G, low-band 5G, and millimeter wave 5G.
Millimeter-wave 5G operates at the highest frequencies but has a limited coverage range.
Low 5G is not as fast as millimeter-wave but offers a wider range.
Mid-band 5G combines characteristics of both, providing fast speed and broad coverage.
Whether 5G offers unlimited data will depend on the individual mobile network.
Thankfully, most networks offer unlimited data access with 5G.
Starlink vs. T-Mobile Home Internet Service Availability
These two networks are still new and early but target different populations.
Starlink focuses on offering internet to the population in remote areas where traditional internet network infrastructure cannot access.
Though it has the potential for global coverage, SpaceX estimated 42,000 satellites to achieve this.
So far, the company has managed around 4,000 satellites, with over 1.5 million subscribers already connected.
We have offered a comprehensive guide on knowing if Starlink is available in your area.
5G is also spreading fast in urban areas. However, it has very limited coverage in rural areas.
Besides, this network doesn’t have the potential of global availability like Starlink. It relies on cell towers used for 5G mobile service.
You must be close to a base station to access this network. If an area has a weak or no cell phone signal, 5G internet is not viable.
There has been an attempt to roll out a 5G network in rural areas, especially by T-Mobile, the largest 5G network in the US.
This may be more effective with lower frequency since it won’t require too many base stations.
Starlink, launching Elon Musk satellite
The Starlink vs. 5G Speed
Starlink download speed ranges between 50 – 350 Mbps, depending on your location and chosen plan.
The three main plans are the Roam, Residential, and Business, with Roam being the slowest and Business Plan being the fastest.
Starlink latency is also low at around 20-50 ms.
5G, on the other hand, can offer up to 1 Gbps in certain areas.
However, the download speed ranges between 33-182 Mbps and an upload speed of 8-25 Mbps for T-Mobile 5G home internet.
Verizon 5G internet offers a download speed of 85 – 300 Mbps and an upload speed of 10 Mbps.
The 5G speed depends on the distance to the nearest tower, users relying on your tower, and usage time.
These factors cause the 5G network to drop speed after a while.
For instance, the internet speed can be pretty fast when there are few users in your area.
This can change rapidly as users increase. Due to network congestion, the speed will be slower during peak hours, which is around 5 PM – 11 PM.
Telecommunication tower with 5G cellular network
Online gaming is a ping or latency-sensitive activity. An internet connection with high latency or ping can make your gaming experience terrible.
Starlink latency averages 40 ms, which is still great for casual gaming. For competitive gaming, it may not be a great option.
It is hard to find data on the exact latency of T-Mobile 5G home internet and Verizon 5G home internet.
However, those living in urban areas near the base station report a great gaming experience.
Depending on the congestion of the tower you are sharing, you may experience a drop in speed during peak hours.
Users usually report a drop in the internet at different times of the day.
This is more common among Starlink RV users; Starlink business users enjoy priority data and are always given preference during peak hours.
The 5G home internet doesn’t have a data cap. However, many users report a drop in speed during peak hours or short internet outages.
You can get back online in case of outages by rebooting the router.
Smart city and communication network
Compared to Starlink, 5G is way cheaper. It only costs $50 per month, and you don’t need to buy equipment. Meaning there is no initial cost you will incur.
For Starlink, you will incur a one-time fee of $599 for the equipment, including the dish, cable, and router. Once you install it, you start paying 110 monthly fees.
What is Our Final Verdict?
Starlink Internet and 5G are still in their early stages. However, the future is bright.
Starlink focuses on offering services in rural areas where other providers like cable and 5G have no proper access.
5G, on the other hand, focuses on urban internet connection where they can easily establish base stations.
That said, your location will be the key determinant of your decision.