Starlink looks to be getting rid of their popular “Mobile-Global” plan

Starlink is making some bizarre moves with their Mobile-Global service plan. If you aren’t aware, the Mobile (commonly called Roam) service allows Starlink customers to travel and use their Starlink virtually anywhere in the world. Roam is offered in two flavors – Regional and Global. With Regional Roam, you can use your dish anywhere within your home continent. If you want to travel between continents, you can opt for Global Roam.

Before an unexpected change earlier this month, Regional Roam was $150/month and Global Roam was $200/month. Now, the price of the Global plan has increased by 100% (doubled) to a whopping $400/month. Regional Roam hasn’t changed, at least for now.

Is Starlink trying to kill their global plan?

Starlink sent out an email to Mobile-Global subscribers, letting them know they would be seeing a price increase on their current plan. The message was short on the details as to why, basically just letting customers know they would see their monthly price double in August 2024. For new customers, the change is effective immediately.

Based on some other changes happening right now, I speculate that this has to do with two driving factors:

  1. Starlink wants to simplify their service offerings
  2. Starlink is seeking to alleviate pressure from governments where service is not available

Simplified service plans

To the first point, it appears Starlink is already taking steps to reorganize their service plans. If you visit the Roam/Mobile page on the Starlink website, the Global option is no longer listed. Check out the screenshots below. The first is from March 2024, and the second is from May 2024. Notice that Starlink has removed Global from its list of service plans.

In fact, if you try to order Roam today, you can only proceed with the Regional version. Right now, you can still upgrade to Global after you order, but that could soon change.

Discouraging the use of Global Roam in unsupported countries

To the second driving factor I mentioned earlier, I speculate that Starlink is killing off Global Roam in order to ease pressure from governments where Starlink is not officially available.

Right now, people that subscribe to the global service do so for three main reasons:

  1. To travel on land between continents
  2. To get service in coastal waters and marinas during maritime activities
  3. To get service in unsupported locations where Starlink isn’t officially available

Number 3 on the list represents most Global Roam subscribers based on my research. And it makes sense when you really think about it. How many land travelers are really out there needing to use Starlink across multiple continents? They exist, no doubt, but it’s a very small number. And I’m sure most of them are already on the Mobile Priority plan anyway, to take advantage of the in-motion feature. There are definitely a lot of maritime users (both commercial and recreational) using Global Roam to get service in coastal waters and marinas around the world, but again, many will probably already be using Mobile Priority for the in-motion feature and ocean coverage.

Since the global service tier launched, thousands and thousands of customers around the world have been using it to obtain Starlink internet in countries where it isn’t officially offered. In the past, Starlink has had no issue with this, only really blocking access in sensitive areas (think places like North Korea, Russia, etc.) In Africa, where services are in high demand, people have been ordering kits from neighboring countries that have been approved, and then importing them into unapproved countries to use permanently. Starlink recently threatened to shut off all services in unsupported countries.

In many instances, Starlink has faced pressure from unapproved countries to cease operations. Perhaps getting rid of Global Roam is Starlink’s way of complying. With no dedicated global service for on land use, Starlink can show unapproved countries that they are taking steps to prevent unauthorized usage.

Due to all of those factors, I speculate that doubling prices and no longer offering the global service to new customers is Starlink’s way of discouraging people from using their services in unsupported countries.

Global access is still available

Those of you facing a 100% price increase will be relieved to know that you don’t need the Mobile-Global plan to access Starlink services globally. With the Global Roam plan doubling in price, it now makes sense to switch to the “Mobile Priority – 50GB” plan. It costs $250/month compared to $400/month for Global Roam.

It’s a perfect Starlink move if you think about it. Starlink gets to tell unapproved countries that they are getting rid of their Global Roam plan, which was primarily used to evade Starlink approval issues. But at the same time, users can still access services globally by switching to Mobile Priority. Since Mobile Priority is technically geared towards maritime and on land mobility users, it gives Starlink a bit more legal wiggle room.

Mobile-Global vs Mobile Priority

Mobile Priority plans include an allotment of “Mobile Priority” data. After you use it all, you get unlimited Mobile data (the same type of data that Roam plans receive). But here is the key feature – Mobile Priority plans get unlimited Mobile data that can be globally accessed. In other words, all Mobile Priority plans have the same features of Mobile-Global, but with additional features and priority when you still have Mobile Priority data left each month.

For those of you interested in the Global Roam plan, the Mobile Priority plans will give you the exact same experience and features, at nearly half the updated Global Roam cost. Plus you get the benefit of additional features like in-motion and ocean access, as well as Starlink’s business dashboard interface.

To reiterate, any Mobile Priority plan is a direct replacement option for Mobile-Global. Starting at $250/month, Mobile Priority is a better plan for less money than Mobile-Global.

Final thoughts

So the facts that we know are as follows:

  • Starlink has doubled the price of their Mobile-Global service, from $200/month to $400/month
  • Starlink has taken down the option to subscribe to Mobile-Global for new customers on the website
  • Customers can still switch to Mobile-Global from their account dashboard
  • Mobile Priority can be used as an alternative to Mobile-Global, with all the same features and more

I’ve speculated that these changes are to discourage people from using Starlink in unsupported countries, and to simplify Starlink’s service plan offerings.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the situation. If you are facing a price increase, will you be switching to Mobile Priority instead? Am I missing any use cases for the Mobile-Global plan? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Starlink looks to be getting rid of their popular “Mobile-Global” plan”

  1. You left out one important use-case: If you want to use the Flat High Performance dish on an RV/van/whatever, you can’t use the Mobile Regional plan. That hardware requires the Global Mobile plan that is doubling in price. That’s what I’m up against. I haven’t decided if I am going to buy the smaller dish and switch to the Mobile – Roam or if I will pony up for the Mobile – 50GB priority for $250. Sucks a lot no matter what I do.

    Reply
    • You can use the Mobile Regional plan in-motion. All you need to do is opt-in to Mobile Priority (for $2/gb) when you want to use it in-motion, and then turn it back off when you are stationary. This can be done on your phone pretty easily. The Global Mobile plan in the same way, it does not include any in-motion data by default, you have to turn on Mobile Priority to be able to use it over 10 mph. The only plans with in-motion ability included is Mobile Priority.

      It all depends on how much in-motion data you use. Mobile Priority includes 50GB of in-motion data. If you change to Mobile Regional for $150/month, you could use up to 50GB of opt-in Mobile Priority data before you hit $250 for the month. Obviously, if you use less than 50GB, you are saving money vs paying for the $250/month Mobile Priority plan up front.

      Reply
  2. Canadian customer living in Canada and wintering in AZ usually. Purchased Starlink in USA and pay $250.00 per month. Can I mount my dish on the roof and get service while moving or do I need a different dish and plan??

    Reply

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