SpaceX raises prices for Starlink users in Ukraine

The price of the Starlink satellite terminal in Ukraine has almost doubled, according to a Financial Times report. This happened due to an increase in demand for satellite Internet from SpaceX and targeted attacks by Russia on the country’s power grid, which caused the failure of communication networks.

The cost of Starlink terminals and services in Ukraine will increase. Photo: Unsplash

The cost of Starlink terminals in Ukraine is planned to increase from USD 385 to USD 700. The monthly subscription required to use the service will also increase from USD 60 to USd 75 starting on December 29, according to emails sent to Ukrainian Starlink customers. Although it is still cheaper than the initial rate of USD 100, which was reduced back in August in order to adapt to the conditions of the local market. For comparison: in the US, the Starlink antenna costs USD 599 along with a monthly subscription of USD 110.

The Financial Times also points out that prices have increased for individual users in Poland, but remain unchanged in most of Europe.

Vital Starlink

Support for the satellite service was activated in Ukraine after a direct request to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk a few days after Russia invaded the country on February 24. Since then, the Ukrainian military used donated Starlink units to maintain communication in areas where mobile networks were unavailable.

Currently, Ukraine is trying to restore services that stopped due to Russian bombing of the country’s energy infrastructure, which affected local mobile and Internet networks. Starlink uses a direct satellite connection to transmit the signal, so it is not affected by attacks, which greatly helps people in regions liberated from Russian occupation, as well as in cities where Internet networks have not yet been restored. This, at the same time, has increased the demand for Starlink across the country in recent weeks.

The price increase may be a plan to recover funds due to the losses that SpaceX suffered due to the financing of Starlink terminals sent to Ukraine. The company asked the Pentagon to pay for additional Starlink terminals for Ukraine back in September, as well as to pay current expenses. According to Elon Musk, SpaceX is losing about USD 20 million a month due to the support of the service for Ukraine. Later, Musk refused this request, promising to continue financing satellite Internet services in Ukraine even at the risk of losing money.

Earlier we reported that SpaceX introduces a restriction of Internet traffic via Starlink.

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