Here’s How Fast Starlink Has Gotten Over the Past Year

Friday 1 Jul 2022 | Member Press Release | Member Resources |

It’s been a year since we first examined SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet, which launched its public beta in November 2020. Today we’re updating our ongoing series on satellite internet performance with data from Q1 2022 in Europe, Oceania, North America, and South America, including results from 10 additional countries. We’re also examining how Starlink’s internet performance has changed over the past year in the United States and Canada.

Starlink speeds increased nearly 58% in Canada and 38% in the U.S. over the past year

Speedtest Intelligence® reveals that median download speeds for Starlink dramatically increased from Q1 2021 to Q1 2022 in the U.S. and Canada, as did speeds for all fixed broadband providers combined. In the U.S., Starlink median download speeds improved roughly 38% from 65.72 Mbps in Q1 2021 to 90.55 Mbps in Q1 2022. In Canada, Starlink’s download speed leapt ahead nearly 58% from 61.84 Mbps to 97.40 Mbps during the same time period.

However, Speedtest Intelligence also showed that upload speeds for Starlink decreased at least 33% in the U.S. (16.29 Mbps in Q1 2021 to 9.33 Mbps in Q1 2022) and at least 36% in Canada (16.69 Mbps to 10.70 Mbps) during the same time period. Median latency on Starlink marginally increased from 40 ms to 43 ms in the U.S. and from 51 ms to 55 ms in Canada during the past year. For many Starlink users, we suspect these changes are negligible.

Starlink in Mexico was the fastest satellite provider in North America

Starlink in Mexico had the fastest satellite internet in North America during Q1 2022 with a median download speed of 105.91 Mbps, followed by Starlink in Canada (97.40 Mbps) and the U.S. (90.55 Mbps). Mexico’s fixed broadband download speed (40.07 Mbps) was much slower than Starlink, while Starlink download speeds were slower than fixed broadband for all providers combined in the U.S. (144.22 Mbps) and Canada (106.86 Mbps). Puerto Rico, new to our list, showed HughesNet had the fastest satellite internet on the island territory at 20.54 Mbps, though fixed broadband was much faster at 68.88 Mbps.

Starlink in Lithuania was the fastest satellite provider in Europe

Speedtest Intelligence showed that Starlink blazed ahead in Europe during Q1 2022, with Starlink achieving a 100+ Mbps median download speed in every country where it was commercially available. In contrast, fixed broadband only achieved median download speeds over 100 Mbps in Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands during Q1 2022. Starlink was fastest for download speed in Lithuania at 160.08 Mbps, followed by Belgium (147.85 Mbps), Slovakia (146.25 Mbps), Croatia (136.00 Mbps), and Austria (132.61 Mbps). Spain was the only country to have its fixed broadband beat Starlink for fastest median download speed, achieving 131.99 Mbps to Starlink’s 108.43 Mbps within the country.

For upload, fixed broadband providers in Spain (100.65 Mbps), France (86.02 Mbps), Portugal (74.42 Mbps), and Lithuania (73.95 Mbps) all recorded median speeds greater than 70 Mbps, while the closest satellite provider, Starlink in Portugal, trailed at 32.05 Mbps.

All satellite providers fell far behind fixed broadband providers in the whole of Europe for latency during Q1 2022, with Starlink in Spain and the United Kingdom recording the highest satellite latencies at 35 ms and 36 ms, respectively — a far cry from the lowest fixed broadband latency, which was 15 ms in the U.K.

Starlink in Chile was the fastest satellite provider in South America

Our analysis of Speedtest Intelligence data found Starlink in Chile was the fastest satellite provider in South America with a median download speed of 110.49 Mbps during Q1 2022. Although Chilean fixed broadband internet was much faster for those who could get access to it. In fact, during May 2022, the Speedtest Global Index™ found Chile had the second fastest fixed broadband internet in the world with a median download speed of 206.97 Mbps, just a hair shy of Singapore’s first place speed of 209.21 Mbps.

No South American satellite provider surpassed its country’s fixed broadband download or upload speeds during Q1 2022. Viasat in Brazil had a noteworthy median download speed of 62.07 Mbps, though still fell short of the country’s fixed broadband speed of 90.20 Mbps. All satellite providers had a higher median latency than fixed broadband, though Starlink in Chile had a latency of 38 ms.

Starlink in Australia was the fastest satellite provider in Oceania

Starlink raced ahead in Oceania, recording faster median download speeds than fixed broadband in both Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, Starlink had a median download speed of 124.31 Mbps, much faster than Australian fixed broadband at 50.87 Mbps for download during Q1 2022. The comparison in New Zealand was much closer with Starlink’s median download speed at 118.70 Mbps and fixed broadband at 116.83 Mbps during Q1 2022.

New Zealand’s fixed broadband dominated for the fastest median upload speed in Oceania at 84.34 Mbps during Q1 2022, while Australia’s fixed broadband fell far behind with an upload speed at 17.85 Mbps. Both speeds were still faster than Starlink’s median upload speeds in New Zealand and Australia (13.09 Mbps and 11.71 Mbps, respectively). Fixed broadband also had a faster median latency than Starlink during Q1 2022, which clocked in at 47 ms in Australia and 78 ms in New Zealand.

Consumers are flocking to Starlink, but competitors are close behind

As we’ve continued to see over the past year, Starlink’s low-earth orbit satellites (LEOs) provide a life-changing service for consumers in rural areas that might not otherwise have access to high-speed internet. However, more companies are looking to compete with Starlink and launch their own LEO constellations, including Amazon’s Project Kuiper, which recently received FCC permission to test their own satellite service and is slated to launch later this year, and Viasat which is set to merge with Inmarsat and launch new constellations by 2023.

We’ll continue to monitor the skies in our ongoing satellite series, but if you’re using satellite internet, take a Speedtest® to help us provide an accurate and more complete picture of real-world performance.

Editor’s note: This article was amended on June 28 to clarify percentage increases in the U.S. and Canada and to update the percent change for upload for Canada.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article/press release are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the approved policy or position of the GSMA or its subsidiaries.