Starlink tops satellite performance ratings

As the space-based connectivity sector gains increasing momentum, research finds that market leading satellite provider hits high levels of customer satisfaction for users in France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the UK in Q2 2023

With satellite established as a genuine platform for broadband connectivity, and predictions there will be 58,000 satellites orbiting the earth by 2030 (a near 725% increase from 2023), attention is to now turning to the performance of individual service operators.

Analyst Ookla has released data showing a mixed picture in terms of capability around the world from leading satellite provider Starlink.

Ookla’s satellite internet series focused on performance data for satellite providers in Africa, Europe, and Oceania during the second quarter of 2023, including SpaceX’s Starlink, Viasat and Skylogic. The analysis includes Starlink Net Promoter Score (NPS) data for France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the UK; year-over-year (YoY) data for satellite providers in Europe and Oceania from Q2 2022 to Q2 2023; and Q2 2023 data from Starlink in Africa.

The NPS was based on Speedtest user responses on how likely they are to recommend their provider to friends or family on a 0 to 10 scale. Using Speedtest Intelligence, Ookla examined NPS ratings data for Starlink users against an aggregate of all fixed broadband providers combined.

Looking at broad trends, Ookla said that it had seen huge developments over the past year in the global satellite market, Europe notwithstanding, with Amazon’s Project Kuiper moving forward, the EU creating its own satellite constellation, and OneWeb and Eutelsat merging.

While Starlink continues to lead for performance among satellite providers surveyed, it has experienced some major hurdles over the past year as users flock to the service and speeds have subsequently dipped. However, Ookla said that it was of note those concerns seem to have started allaying in most of Europe during Q2 2023.

Overall, Starlink results were the fastest among satellite providers surveyed with quarter-to-quarter speeds improving or remaining about the same in Ookla’s terms – that is between 5% and -5 – in 23 countries, while decreasing in 4 countries. That represented a big deal, especially given Starlink had median download speeds greater than 100 Mbps in 14 countries, and greater than 90 Mbps in 20 countries, and greater than 80 in 24 countries — with only three countries failing to reach 70 Mbps, said Ookla.

The results showed that Starlink users in France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the UK had an NPS score much higher than the aggregate score for all fixed broadband providers combined during Q2 2023.

France had the highest NPS among the aggregate of fixed broadband providers for the countries surveyed at -15.98 and fixed broadband providers had a much faster median download speed at 165.37 Mbps to Starlink’s 107.56 Mbps.

In New Zealand, the aggregate of fixed broadband providers’ NPS was -20.40 compared with Starlink’s 48.83, while having a faster median download speed 147.86 Mbps to 113.78 Mbps during Q2 2023.

Germany, which had the lowest NPS rating of aggregate of fixed broadband providers in Europe at -30.10, also had the smallest difference in NPS with Starlink scoring 38.19. The aggregate of fixed broadband providers and Starlink both had similar median download speeds at 83.16 Mbps and 82.56 Mbps, respectively, during Q2 2023.

Starlink had much higher NPS ratings and median download speeds than the aggregate of all fixed providers combined in Italy and the UK, respectively, during Q2 2023. Starlink’s NPS was 50.20 to -25.61 for the aggregate of all fixed broadband providers in Italy during Q2 2023, while the median download speeds were 100.68 Mbps to 63.99 Mbps.

In the UK, Starlink’s NPS was 47.18 to -26.88 for the aggregate of all fixed broadband providers combined, with the median download speeds a little closer, 100.11 Mbps to 77.38 Mbps, respectively.

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