Established infrastructure: 4G networks have been widely deployed and have an established infrastructure, providing reliable connectivity in many areas. This infrastructure includes cell towers and equipment that have been optimized over time for efficient operation.
Latency: Starlink experiences higher latency compared to 4G networks. Latency refers to the delay in data transfer between the source and destination. Due to the long distance that signals need to travel between Earth and satellites in orbit, Starlink typically has a latency of around 20-40 milliseconds, whereas 4G networks can provide lower latency.
Weather interference: Starlink’s satellite-based infrastructure can be susceptible to weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow, or storms. Adverse weather can affect the quality and stability of the connection, leading to potential service disruptions or degraded performance. In contrast, 4G networks are typically more resilient to weather-related issues.
Wide Availability: 4G connectivity is available in numerous regions, including urban, suburban, and rural areas. It has extensive coverage, making it accessible to a larger population compared to Starlink, which requires specific equipment and settings.
Mobility: 4G networks are designed to provide mobile connectivity, allowing users to access the internet on the go. This makes it useful for individuals who need internet access while traveling or for businesses that rely on mobile connectivity.
Initial investment: To access 4G connectivity, users usually need a compatible mobile device or portable hotspot, which is generally less expensive than the equipment required for Starlink where users need to purchase a Starlink Kit that includes a satellite dish, modem, and other necessary equipment. Additionally, Starlink has a monthly subscription fee, which can be relatively expensive compared to traditional 4G plans.
Cost-effectiveness: 4G data plans are often cheaper than Starlink’s plans, especially for users with limited data requirements. Many 4G providers offer competitive pricing options and different data packages to accommodate different budgets and usage patterns.
Proven Reliability: 4G networks have undergone years of development and optimization, resulting in a relatively stable and reliable connectivity experience for users. They have been extensively tested and are well suited for everyday internet activities such as browsing, streaming and communicating.
Regulatory limitations: Starlink’s satellite network operates under regulatory restrictions imposed by various countries. These regulations can impact the deployment and operation of Starlink’s service, potentially limiting its availability or performance in certain regions. In contrast, 4G networks are usually subject to established national regulations and infrastructure.