Advanced Television

Bank: Starlink to take on Konnect

February 19, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Elon Musk’s broadband-by-satellite Starlink business is readying to open for business in Europe.

The markets invited include France, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy and others. It plans to launch its service in these European markets in mid to late 2021 on a “first come, first served basis”. Its service will deliver broadband internet connexions at 50-150Mbps with latency below 40ms and no data cap.

Investment bank Exane/BNPP, in a note to clients, said the move puts Starlink in a head-to-head competition with Eutelsat’s Konnect service, which is already live.

“Eutelsat offers several price plans which are all cheaper than Starlink, including the premium Konnect Max product. Konnect Max offers speeds of up to 100Mbps and no data cap for €69.99, a 15 per cent discount. Konnect Easy offers 30 Mbps with no data caps at €29.99 a month, a 65 per cent discount. Starlink is flagging that customers surrounded with tall trees or buildings will suffer a poor connection,” said the bank.

“This is less of an issue for Eutelsat’s GEO satellites. Besides Elon Musk’s branding, Eutelsat’s main competitive disadvantage is the c650ms latency. This is not an issue for most of today’s internet usage (video consumption, browsing, social media) but makes certain applications inoperable (video gaming) and a few others (video conferencing) less efficient. We continue to believe however that the European and African markets are big enough to accommodate three players (Starlink, Eutelsat and in 2023/24 Viasat),” added the bank.

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