The 5G vs. Starlink Speed debate is one that we will have for a long time, thanks to the efficiency of both internet types.
Starlink is, without a doubt, one of the most dependable internet service providers in this decade.
But 5G internet is also in a class of its own and provides real competition to Starlink in quite several aspects.
Today, we’ll compare the pros and cons of each internet type to help you decide which best suits your needs.
Table of Contents
- What are Starlink and 5G
- Primary Differences Between Starlink and 5G Internet
- Pros and Cons of Starlink and 5G
- Starlink vs. 5G: Which One is Better?
What are Starlink and 5G
5G network concept.
Starlink is one of the newest Satellite network providers renowned for its unique use of satellites in low earth orbit for internet transmission.
This setup ensures that Starlink’s network is available even in remote places where other fast internet options don’t reach.
Since its a newly launched company, Starlink is yet to achieve its aim of worldwide network coverage.
However, people in 32 nations can access the ISP’s services while others wait.
5G Internet is primarily a wireless mobile network, a remarkable upgrade on the preceding service versions.
Unlike its predecessor, the 4G network, this one transmits at very short wavelengths (high frequencies).
Hence it is significantly faster than any of the former versions of the network.
So fast is the 5G network that it can hit maximum speeds of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).
It also means that its significantly lesser latency than the previous wireless mobile networks.
Primary Differences Between Starlink and 5G Internet
A Starlink Satellite in Space.
Let’s compare and contrast Starlink with 5G Internet on various parameters.
The Mode of Providing Internet
A Starlink Antenna Dish.
Starlink, as earlier highlighted, is a satellite internet company. Hence, it features satellites in space that send a signal to a subscriber’s antenna dish.
Then, the user connects to the internet via a modem.
Conversely, 5G internet applies the radio frequency mode of transmission.
Nonetheless, it is unique from the erstwhile wireless mobile internet versions as this has further coverage and better speed.
But what determines the speed and internet reach of 5G internet?
The above depends on the type of 5G signal. For instance, the service has a millimeter-wave 5G band for the fastest internet speeds. Nonetheless, this has a relatively short reach.
We also have the 5G soft band, which is slower than those mentioned above but has the most extensive reach.
Lastly, there’s a 5G mid-band, a compromise between the two. Hence it’s moderate in speed and coverage.
Winner: It’s a Tie.
Starlink’s cardinal target is to provide strong internet coverage to all world parts.
True to this aim, their services are available in nearly all US and Canadian States.
Also, the internet speed for this ISP is relatively superior, even in rural areas, thanks to its low earth orbit satellites.
Nonetheless, Starlink’s services are in high demand in some areas, so customers are placed on a waitlist.
It is especially true in areas with a high population density, such as urban zones.
Similarly, 5G internet is available in many areas, but its availability is limited to where there’s a strong cell phone signal.
Hence, its unavailable in rural areas, and this is one part where Starlink beats 5G internet.
Also, 5G internet service providers are more reserved about providing services in zones with the poor network coverage.
This further ostracizes users from the service.
Winner: Starlink Internet
Internet speed conceptual meter.
|Starlink Internet||T-Mobile 5G Home Internet||Verizon 5G Home Internet|
|Download Speed (in Mbps)||40 to 110||30 to 80||40 to 85|
|Upload Speed (in Mbps)||5 to 15||5 to 10||5 to 20|
The table above reveals that Starlink Internet ranks high amongst satellite internet services regarding speed.
Their upload speeds also match that of 5G internet, and with the continuous new satellite launch, there’s going to be an improvement in its speed.
Also, from the above table, it’s apparent that Verizon’s 5G internet fares better than T-Mobile’s.
However, this is not necessarily the case, as internet speed depends on many factors that are not always constant.
Of the three, Starlink Internet has more constant speeds and availability.
5G Internet Latency Concept.
On average, Starlink has a latency of 40 – 70 milliseconds which is significantly low compared to other services such as cable internet.
But this signal strength consistency remains a significant issue for Starlink Internet.
On the other hand, 5G internet has a latency of 30 to 100 milliseconds.
Like Starlink, this internet service is also subject to higher latencies than the average.
Nonetheless, 5G has relatively lower latency than the two, especially under ideal conditions.
Winner: 5G Internet.
Data Cap Comparison
Unlimited Internet Concept.
A data cap limits the data volume you can use for a particular duration.
If you’re a US-based Starlink user, you’ll experience data cap limitations when you use data above 1TB in less than a month.
Although Starlink does not wholly disconnect you from their services as do other service providers, it will limit your internet speed.
On the other hand, major 5G internet providers such as T-Mobile and Verizon do not have a data cap limitation.
It means unlimited internet access at relatively high speeds and low latency all month.
Winner: 5G internet.
Reliability during Bad Weather
Internet speed is poor in bad weather.
5G and Starlink are relatively stable in slightly bad weather, and Starlink even has a mechanism for dealing with snow.
However, heavy rainstorms significantly impact internet signal stability as rains interrupt satellite communication.
Rains affect Starlink more than 5G internet services.
Nonetheless, when natural disasters such as cyclones occur, 5G networks suffer the brunt of the weather conditions more than Starlink.
Therefore, each internet service is stable, but this depends on the prevailing weather conditions.
Winner: It’s a tie.
A Girl Browsing.
How does Starlink compare to the 5G network in terms of cost? Let’s see below.
Monthly Recurring Fee
5G Internet is cheaper than Starlink.
Starlink’s monthly fee is between $90 and $120, depending on the package.
On the other hand, Verizon and T-Mobile charge a monthly fee of $50, almost half the amount you pay for Starlink.
Moreover, with T-mobile and Verizon 5G network services, there’s a guarantee that the service providers will not raise the service fee for two years.
This surety doesn’t exist with Starlink, meaning the provider can raise their fee anytime.
Winner: 5G Network.
A Starlink Dish.
Another upside of 5G internet is that it charges you nothing for its equipment.
On the other hand, Starlink charges you $599 for their equipment. This fee is refundable when you cancel their service.
Comparing the two, 5G internet is better than Starlink. By not charging for equipment,
T-mobile and Verizon give subscribers the right to access the service.
Winner: 5G Internet
A technician is fitting a Dish.
How much does setting up Verizon and T-mobile 5G internet service cost? Zero costs.
On the flip side, there are various costs to set up Starlink Internet, even though the company allows for self-installation.
For instance, one of the main conditions for excellent Starlink network reception is setting the dish in an open area.
It will prompt you to invest in mounting attire such as a pivot mount and a cable.
Winner: 5G Internet.
Starlink vs. 5G Internet Incentives
Again, 5G internet providers like Verizon and T-mobile give you incentives to subscribe to their internet, unlike Starlink, which offers none.
For instance, for the former two, you get a discount for combining your cellular plan with the home internet plan.
Also, if you’d like to switch from another ISP to Verizon or T-mobile, the two companies are likely to pay a partial amount of your termination fee.
Moreover, Verizon and T-mobile have incentives for 55 years old seniors who are subscribed to their service.
Winner: 5G Internet.
Ease of Setup
5G wireless network concept.
Setting up Verizon and T-mobile internet is straightforward, especially when you don’t require an external antenna.
Starlink is also relatively easy to set up. However, you must correctly connect the cables and follow the self-installation process.
Another major problem with Starlink is that accessing the dish can be complicated, especially if you mount it on the roof.
Winner: 5G Internet.
Pausing, Cancellation, and Contract
Starlink has an RV internet package that you can pause.
You cannot pause your Starlink Residential package when you’re not using the internet.
However, Starlink RV subscribers have this option.
Hence, if you’re looking for an internet service, you can pause occasionally; Starlink RV will be a handful.
On the other hand, Verizon and T-mobile give their subscribers a chance to pause the internet service once and twice, respectively.
The good thing about all three ISPs is that they allow users to cancel the service without warning.
Winner: It’s a Tie.
Starlink deprioritizes the RV subscribers in favor of those on the Residential packages.
Similarly, Verizon and T-Mobile deprioritize home internet service subscribers for those on the 5G internet package.
Also, regarding portability, both Verizon and T-mobile 5G are portable, while for Starlink, this provision only exists for Starlink RV users.
But the portability of Verizon and T-Mobile is not official as they don’t guarantee excellent coverage outside the registered address.
Also, all three internet services do not have a unique IP address as they all use the CGNAT system.
Winner: Not Outright winner as the ISPs have similar limitations.
Pros and Cons of Starlink and 5G
5G Internet Concept.
The tables below provide a summary of the pros and cons of each of the internet services.
Starlink Internet Service.
|Starlink Internet Upsides||Starlink Internet Downsides|
|Starlink guarantees access to fast speeds and low latency than other satellite internet options.||Internet speed is low in inclement weather or high-density areas such as cities.|
|It is easy to install Starlink Internet through simple self-installation steps.||The company doesn’t provide hardware installation services for those unable to install the internet.|
|Starlink Internet is available from anywhere thanks to its transmission mode (satellite network).||It has limited portability unless you are on the Starlink RV package.|
5G Internet Service
|5G Internet Service Upsides||5G Internet Service Downsides|
|It has the fastest internet speeds and the lowest latency of all cellular network versions.||5G internet is limited to the developed nations with many world parts without the connection.|
|Also, it guarantees a broader bandwidth than other internet services.||The Internet is prone to cyber-attacks.|
Starlink vs. 5G: Which One is Better?
Global Village Cartoon.
From our discussion above, there’s no outright better internet than the other, as the suitability of each depends on a subscriber’s location.
For instance, if you’re in an urban setting, 5G internet will be the best option primarily because of its excellent coverage.
Starlink doesn’t fare excellently in urban areas, especially during network peak hours.
But on the flip side, it’s the ideal internet service for rural areas, guaranteeing excellent coverage, top speeds, and low latency.
That’s all on the 5G vs. Starlink speed internet debate. We hope you can now decide between the two internet services from our insights.
Either of the options will undoubtedly guarantee you uninterrupted and excellent internet service as long as you’re in the ideal area.