VoIP and Starlink: A Match Made In The Heavens

By Emma Lewis, bOnline

Starlink is a group of internet satellites developed by SpaceX to provide high-speed internet access globally, particularly in more remote areas. The first 60 Starlink satellites launched on the 23rd May 2019, aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. If you’re lucky you may even occasionally catch a glimpse of them in the night sky – like a long line of bright white dots travelling at speed.

So how are VoIP and Starlink teaming up to change the way we communicate? Let’s take a look.


What Is VoIP?


VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. It works in a similar way to a normal phone, except for when you make and receive calls the sound is sent over the internet in digital ‘packets’ rather than through copper wires. In fact, you may well have used VoIP without even knowing it, for example if you’ve made a call using Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp or Zoom.

VoIP phone packages are also cloud-based which means you can log in and access them from any internet-connected device like your smartphone or tablet. This is ideal for businesses in particular where working on the go is a top priority.


What Does Starlink Do?


Basically Starlink promises to give every location on Earth high-speed internet, even in the remotest locations. This means that even if you’re out in the middle of the desert in a motorhome or the sea on a boat, you can access the internet just like you would at home.

So how does it work? Essentially, instead of relying on underground cables or cell towers, Starlink uses a network of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to beam the internet down to a dish on your home, caravan, boat or wherever you may be. It’s designed to provide fast, reliable internet to places where traditional internet providers just can’t get to.


Why Are VoIP and Starlink Perfect Together?


So, why do VoIP and Starlink make such a great team? It all comes down to a few key reasons:


Global Reach


One of the biggest advantages of VoIP is the fact it’s so flexible. All you need is an internet connection to make and receive calls from anywhere on the planet. This is still the case even in places that were previously off the grid. No matter where you are, if you’ve got Starlink, you can use VoIP.




Setting up traditional phone lines, particularly in hard to reach areas, can be incredibly difficult and expensive. VoIP, combined with Starlink, can be much more affordable, with better sound quality and more features too.

Once you have set up your Starlink connection, you can make VoIP calls at a fraction of the cost of traditional phone services. Plus, you don’t need to worry about the UK landline switch-off coming at the end of 2026.


Speed and Latency


VoIP calls can only really be made if your internet speed is good and reliable with low latency (the time it takes for data to travel from one point to another). Traditional satellite internet can mean issues with high latency because of the long distance each signal has to travel.

But Starlink’s LEO satellites are much closer to Earth, which cuts latency dramatically. This makes VoIP calls clearer and more reliable, even when you’re connecting through space.


What Are Some of The Real World Uses For VoIP and Starlink?


VoIP and Starlink are making a huge difference across the world, particularly with things like:


Working On The Go – With more of us working and studying remotely than ever, having a reliable internet connection has become so important. Starlink gives people who live in very remote or rural locations the chance to access high-speed internet and VoIP services so they can easily take virtual classes, join meetings and stay in touch with classmates and colleagues.


Emergency Services – Starlink can provide the necessary internet connection for VoIP calls in areas that are prone to natural disasters or other emergencies where normal communication may not be working. This allows emergency services to access and treat those in need more quickly and effectively.


Going Travelling – For travellers and digital nomads, staying connected on the go is top of the priority list. With a Starlink dish on your vehicle, boat or other temporary base you can use VoIP for staying in touch wherever you end up.


Are There Any Drawbacks to Starlink?


There are some disadvantages to Starlink that are worth knowing about too. Firstly, Starlink isn’t exactly cheap and the set-up costs are a little pricey too (residential packages start at £75 per month for the service and £150-£299 for the hardware).

If you’re looking to connect on your boat, this rises again to a rather eye-watering £247 per month for the service and £2,470 for the hardware. However, over time as take-up and technology improve it’s hoped that prices will come down.

Furthermore, while Starlink can reach more areas of the world than ever, it’s still not quite available everywhere. There can also be occasional connectivity hiccups due to the position of the satellites or certain weather conditions.


The Future For VoIP and Startlink is Bright


Despite a few challenges, the progress of both VoIP and Starlink is undoubtedly exciting. As more satellites are sent up into orbit and technology advances, this heady combination is likely to revolutionise global communication forever. Very soon it is hoped at least that the whole world will be connected, and you can literally make a call from the middle of the Atlantic or on top of Mount Everest, just as if you were at home.