Starlink Download Speed Touches 370 Mbps At 14,000 Feet Altitude – But With A Catch

Ramish Zafar

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Space Exploration Technologies Corporation's (SpaceX) Starlink satellite internet constellation has managed to achieve strong internet speed test results at an altitude of 14,000 feet according to a user who shared his results on the social media platform Reddit. Starlin operates through a constellation of more than a thousand internet small satellites which orbit the Eart at significantly lower altitudes than competing services that use larger spacecraft in different orbits to provide coverage. Today's test is the latest in a series that has seen Starlink significantly outperform its well established rivals as it ushers in a new era of satellite internet connectivity.

Starlink User Receives Strong Coverage On Top of Pikes Peak In Colorado's Rocky Mountains

The user, who shared his results yesterday, tested Starlink as part of his trip to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. This range is the largest mountain range in America and its highest mountain is Mount Elbert, which has an elevation exceeding 14,000 feet. The Reddit user who tested Starlink did so on top of the Pike Peak, which is also more than 14,000 feet tall, with an official elevation of 14,115 feet according to the U.S. Geodetic Survey.

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According to the post by Reddit user u/tuckstruck, his Starlink performed well as he camped on Pike Peak, but he did not share any speed tests for that altitude. The initial post saw him describe the experience as:

Starlink working well at 14,100’ (4,300m) on top of Pikes Peak, Colorado Rockies

However, the speed tests did come later on as other users asked him about his experience and whether he had checked how well SpaceX's internet service performed in the mountain range. In response, u/truckstruck replied that he had tested Starlink at 9,300 feet while he was camping for the night. This test revealed a download speed of 370 Mbps, an upload speed of 9.6 Mbps and latency, which is the time taken for a packet of information to travel from and back to a user, ranging between 34 milliseconds and 36 milliseconds.

An image shared by Reddit user u/tuckstruck doing his trip to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Image: u/tuckstruck/Reddit

In his own words:

I’m at a camp for the night which is at 9,300’ and am getting 34 to 36 ms latency. Also had 370 Mbs down and 9.62 Mbs up while the wife was also streaming some dancing TV show.

While the download speed is, once again remarkable, the upload speed leaves much to be desired. This is not the first time a Starlink test has revealed a wide gap between download and upload speeds. Another test that we covered late last month saw a British user achieve 400 Mbps in download speeds but 18 Mbps in upload.

Starlink coverage and performance are determined by a variety of factors, the most important of which is the number of satellites in orbit. SpaceX is currently operating more than 1,700 satellites as it continues to launch more amidst a global semiconductor shortage. Another factor that determines service quality is the number of users in a given 'shell'.

The upload speed sits below the average Starlink was able to achieve in October last year, and it's also likely that the higher power input required by the user dish to beam data up to the satellites is not working as intended in a mobile environment.

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