SpaceX nearly doubles Starlink’s prices in Ukraine

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The price of a Starlink satellite terminal has nearly doubled in Ukraine, according to a report by the Financial timesfollowing increased demand for the SpaceX satellite devices and targeted Russian attacks on the country’s power grid that have knocked out communications networks.

Starlink terminals in Ukraine will rise from the equivalent of $385 to about $700. The monthly subscription required to use the service will also rise from $60 to $75 on December 29 according to emails sent to Ukrainian Starlink customers, although this is still cheaper than the original $100 rate, which was reduced in August to “reflect local market conditions.” By comparison, a Starlink dish costs $599 in the US, in addition to a $110 monthly subscription.

These price increases affect individual users, so it’s unclear if the Ukrainian government, which has acquired Starlink from various donors such as SpaceX and NATO, will also be affected. The Financial times also indicates that prices for individual users have increased in neighboring Poland, but otherwise remain unchanged in most of Europe.

Support for the satellite-based service was enabled in Ukraine after a direct request to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk just days after Russia invaded the country on February 24 earlier this year. The Ukrainian military has since used donated Starlink units to maintain communications in areas where mobile networks are unavailable.

A resident waits for her phone to charge at a temporary charging point and internet hotspot via a Starlink device on November 17, 2022 in Kherson, Ukraine

As mobile networks have been hit by attacks on Ukraine’s power grid, Starlink services have become a lifeline for both civilian and military communications in the war-torn country.
Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Ukraine is currently trying to restore services affected by targeted Russian bomb attacks that are attempting to cripple the country’s energy grid, impacting local mobile and communications networks. Because Starlink uses direct satellite links to deliver a signal, it is unaffected by the attacks, leaving many civilians in areas recaptured from Russian forces to rely on the service to maintain critical communications. This, in turn, has increased demand for Starlink across the country in recent weeks.

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