Starlink: WISP Killer or does the math just not work out?

So as an individual that was looking to do some speculative gambling on investing in Wisps, I’ve been trying to get this angsty feeling out of my gut over the issue of Starlink (and the wunderkind) progress thus far, the performance, the reviews, and the boasts included.

Is there something to be said over the ‘math of it all being the saviour’? Is the set-up inherently at a disadvantage in competing with bolstered Wisp operations somehow? Will contention & latency create barrier that will shield Wisps? or will they all lose 40-50% of their subs wherever they are? (assuming those who don’t mind coughing up the $499 for the ufo-on-stick:)
I’d like to get your feedback…

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I’m speculating here but from the testing, I have done I’m not that worried about the WISP space. Why I say this is you have to realize that the speed wisps can currently provide is limited by the spectrum available with the 6Ghz band opening up that allows for a lot of speed improvements with better latency.

I do also find it really hard to believe that they could offer 1 Gig to every subscriber. When we had two people download 2gig files over Starlink in the same area at the same time speeds went from 130Mbits to 35-60Mbit. Also, there is the base station bandwidth I only see them being able to get 10-20 Gbit per base station with the current frequencies in use, and with a base station covering such a large geographic area, there are more problems to overcome than most people realize.

Yes, WISPS are going to lose some of the customers but I don’t see it being 40-50%. This is going to shake things up that’s for sure but WISPs will continue to co-exist with Starlink and the new LTE Home internet offerings. Honestly, in my opinion, the LTE Home internet options will likely be a bigger threat to most WISPs.

Appreciate the response. When you say LTE home internet, are you referring to CBRS-based providers? Wouldn’t you say that a wisp could protect themselves by adding CBRS/LTE as a hedge against subscriber loss by offering a 'combo home/mobility(limited) option?

I was talking about the new offerings from AT&T Verizon and T-Mobile actually. The amount of spectrum and planning they already have is a much bigger threat especially when you consider that they already have the customer for another service and if it only costs $40 dollars a month to add 25Mbps home internet. How many people are going to try it concurrently with there current internet at that price.

That’s why I suggest the the wisp can get into that game on their own with small cells, and already having the subscriber and thus the combo ‘home/mobile’ offer… would take a bite out of the national, given that small towers spend 95% in their town rather than be on national plans.

Our WISP is located in the most mature StarLink zone, which is the band between Central Oregon to Southern Canada. I believe they have the most satellites deployed in this zone/band. They were beta testing it here before the public beta was even available by giving forest fire crews, emergency responders and native tribes super early access. When they started delivering on the public beta we had just under 20 clients jump ship in a one month period. Once everyone had their beta dishes delivered, StarLink jumps stopped. We believe that most of the people that jumped were on the fence and looking for a reason to leave and/or they were tech savvy and like to support anything Elon related. There are many people that have moved up from California and Silicon Valley that live in our coverage area… lots of Tesla vehicles too.

It will be interesting to see how many are lost during the next wave of people that are on the retail waiting list for StarLink that will eventually get there dishes here this summer.

I’d say we’re at yellow alert ATM… it’s not the end of the world, losing just under 20 people that were looking for a reason to leave, many of them were using huge amounts of data too (500GB - 1TB per month), isn’t a huge loss to us. It has made us re-think our pricing and speeds and this might need to be tweaked to stay competitive.

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Thanks for that. Why do think that once they received dishes the jump stopped? Negative feedback? or just a measure of how few felt like jumping over? Wouldn’t it depend on what sub is getting vs what’s being offered over the fence? Your offerings? Microwave, LTE? thanks.

Oh you’re on Cambium equipment/OFDM then. Sufficient bandwidth to keep subs happy I take it…

There were a limited number of dishes available for the beta and a time limit to commit to the beta. All the beta dishes were delivered in about a 1 month period. That’s the month we lost those clients. We haven’t seen any more losses presumably because 1. the beta has ended, and 2. the retail sign up queue is still pending. I think deliveries for that group are planned to start this summer.

We’re offering mostly Cambium PMP450 and ePMP. We’re also using PMP450m 3GHz/CBRS and we bought PAL’s. We have a very small amount of fixed LTE, but it makes up less then 5% of our network.