Data caps are coming for Starlink in Serbia – what does this mean for your internet? – Serbian Monitor

Although not officially supported on the Starlink map, the satellite internet service still works in numerous Serbian locations. As in many countries, Starlink’s potential has many wondering whether the technology will be worth the switch. This question has become more complicated with the introduction of the daytime data cap. So what could this mean for Serbian Starlink users now and when the service is inevitably officially launched in the future?

Starlink and Data Caps

As an Internet delivery system, Starlink is based on the idea of ​​satellite communication. This technology is not new, it was first offered to consumers in 2003. These older systems and Starlink differ fundamentally in some key areas, most notably how the newer solutions overcome the speed limitations of the first generation.

With the old geostationary satellite internet, there was considerable delay in sending or receiving data. This is called lag, and it’s a side effect of how distant geostationary satellites have to be positioned to avoid hitting the planet. For reference, the latency of these early solutions was around 550 milliseconds.

Instead of using just one satellite, Starlink uses a network of thousands of satellites that travel close to the planet. They have to move fast to maintain orbit, a side effect of closer range is lower latency. That’s why Starlink can operate with a latency of about 50 milliseconds, ten times less than its big brothers, although it’s nearly double that of a wired internet connection like fiber.

In terms of bandwidth, or the amount of data that can be transferred at once, Starlink can operate at around 200 Mbps download. This is lower than the modern 1 Gbps fiber standard, but still more than enough for most uses and users.

Starlink’s announced data limits will allow users to download a maximum of 1 terabyte or 1,000 gigabytes per month. Users can then purchase additional data for 25c per gigabyte. That’s on top of the usual $110-$500 monthly fee, plus $599-$2,500 for hardware, depending on which version of the service is used.

Personal use case investigation

While it’s only a matter of time before Starlink officially rolls out to other countries, whether the service is worth the switch is another question entirely. Ultimately, it depends on what you pay now and the type of speed you require for your daily use. The cost, even with the newly announced data limits, requires little explanation. Speed ​​requirements can be more difficult to measure.

In Serbia, a 2020 survey published by Eurostat revealed that people in Serbia use the Internet more than anything else to read news. 74% of respondents to this survey said that keeping up with news is their main concern, 70% use it to watch video content, 44% listen to music and 21% use it to download games.

News exists at the low-demand end of the spectrum. Simple browsing and light image and video uploading use very little bandwidth, requiring around 10 Mbps for an acceptable experience. Sometimes these types of users can get by for less, but around 10 Mbps can serve as a solid speed baseline. In that case, even the first few generations of DSL Internet would usually last.

Similar types of requirements will apply to low-demand interactive experiences such as those on UK casino sites. Whether you’re browsing rankings, collecting bonuses, or playing titles on these services, anything in the 10-20 Mbps range will prove more than adequate. The only possible concern for this use is with live casino game video streams, which can struggle at high quality levels. Given that top-rated platform Treasure Spins Casino stands out for its live casino game offering, potential players will be happy to hear that the systems are usually expandable. For a full HD experience in a live casino, 20 Mbps would be a stronger starting point. In many cases, this speed also allows networks to run multiple casinos, such as Live Casino House and BetMaster, if users don’t mind the occasional drop in streaming bitrate.

The highest demand most people will see from their home internet is streaming video and downloading games. It’s important to note that bandwidth is shared by concurrent users, although in most cases (except for large game downloads) only 50 Mbps is required for this to be acceptable. For example, a 50 Mbit/s connection used by two people means 25 Mbit/s each, even though it is unreliable. This means that it’s not just raw speed that matters, but how many users are connected at the same time, regardless of your use case.

If Starlink’s price and speed are right for you, it may be worth investigating further to see if the upgrade is worth the switch. Otherwise, if you’re in an area with fiber or ADSL, traditional wired systems will almost always be a better and cheaper option. As a rapidly evolving technology, we would still encourage interested users to see how Starlink continues to evolve, as although it is not operational now, this may change in the future, especially if restrictions on data caps are lifted.

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