Although not officially supported on the Starlink map, satellite internet still works in many Serbian locations. As with many countries, Starlink’s potential has left many wondering if the technology is worth making a change. With the upcoming implementation of the daytime data cap, this question has become more complicated. So, what could this mean for Serbian Starlink users now, and when inevitably sometime in the future the service officially launches?
Starlink and data caps
As an online delivery system, Starlink is built on the idea of satellite communications. This technology is not new, having been introduced to consumers for the first time in 2003. These legacy systems and Starlink are fundamentally different in some key areas, most importantly in how the new solutions overcome the speed limitations of the first generation.
With the older geostationary satellite internet, there was a significant delay before data was sent or received. This is called latency, and it’s a side effect of how far geostationary satellites need to be positioned to avoid falling into the planet. For reference, the latency of these early solutions was around 550ms.
Instead of using just one satellite, Starlink uses a network of thousands of satellites that travel close to the planet. These must move quickly to maintain orbit, with the side effect of the closer distance being much lower latency. This is why Starlink can operate with a latency of around 50ms, ten times less than its older brethren, despite twice as much wired internet connectivity as fiber.
In terms of bandwidth, or the amount of data that can be transferred at one time, Starlink can operate at a download speed of 200 Mbps. This is less than the 1Gbps standard for fiber, but still more than enough for most uses and users.
Starlink’s announced data caps will allow users to a The maximum upload limit is 1 TB per month, or a thousand gigabytes. After that, users can purchase additional data at a cost of 25 cents per gigabyte. This is on top of the normal fee of $110 to $500 per month, plus the cost of equipment from $599 to $2,500, depending on the service version used.
Examine the personal use case
While it’s only a matter of time before Starlink’s official rollout to other countries, whether or not the service is worth making a change is another question entirely. Ultimately, it depends on what you’re paying for now, and what kind of speed you need for your daily uses. Cost requires little explanation, even with newly defined data caps. However, determining speed requirements can be more difficult.
In Serbia, a 2020 survey published by Eurostat stated that people in Serbia use the Internet To read the news more than anything else. 74% of respondents to this survey stated that keeping up with the news was their primary concern, while 70% used it to watch video content, 44% listened to music, and 21% downloaded games.
There is news around the low demand end of the spectrum. Simple browsing and light uploading of photos and videos use very little bandwidth, requiring around 10 Mbps for an acceptable experience. Sometimes these types of users can get much less than that, but around 10 Mbps can serve as a solid foundation for speed. In this case, even the first few generations of DSL Internet will usually hold up.
Similar types of requirements apply to lower demand Interactive experiences like those found in UK casino sites. Whether you’re browsing ratings, collecting rewards, or playing titles on these services, anything in the 10-20Mbps range will be more than enough. The only possible concern with this usage is with live video streams of casino games, which may struggle at higher quality levels. Given that the top-rated platform, Treasure Spins Casino, stands out with its live casino game offering, potential players will be happy to hear that the systems are usually scalable. For a full HD live casino experience, 20Mbps would be a stronger starting point. In many cases, this speed will also allow networks to run multiple casinos such as Live Casino House and BetMaster simultaneously if users don’t mind lowering their broadcast bandwidth occasionally.
The most common uses that most people see from the internet in their homes are video and game download uses. While this would only require 50Mbps in most cases to be acceptable (apart from large game downloads), it is important to note that the bandwidth is divided by concurrent users. For example, a 50 Mbps connection used by two people means 25 Mbps each, although it is not reliable. This means that what matters is not just speed, regardless of your use case, it’s the number of users connected at the same time.
If Starlink’s price and speeds are in a good place for you, it might be worth investigating further whether the upgrade is worth the change. Otherwise, if you are in an area with fiber or ADSL, traditional wired systems will always be a better and cheaper option. Because technology is evolving so quickly, we still encourage interested users to see how Starlink continues to evolve, as it may not be applicable now, and this may change in the future, especially if restrictions on data restrictions are abandoned.