Telstra partners with Starlink-like OneWeb satellite internet service to compete with Elon Musk and Sky Muster

Telstra has partnered with a Starlink-like satellite internet service, paving the way for direct competition with Elon Musk’s company.

At a conference in Barcelona, ​​Telstra CEO Andrew Penn announced a memorandum of understanding with UK-based OneWeb to bring low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet service to Australia.

This is the first time that one of the established telecom operators has opted for LEOs, and it could lead to faster internet at lower prices for rural and regional areas that cannot access the fixed network.

LEO satellites are closer to the ground than geostationary satellites, which means signals have a shorter distance to travel, resulting in less lag (also known as latency) in communications.

A screenshot of an open source display showing the position of Starlink satellites (white dots) and coverage areas (green cells)(Provided: https://satellitemap.space/)

Starlink, owned by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company, launched a LEO service in Australia last year and stole customers from NBN’s Sky Muster, which uses geostationary satellites.

So, can Telstra compete with Starlink? And what does this mean for the future of Sky Muster?

Starlink shakes up the regional internet market

For years, people in areas without fiber and copper network access had to rely on fixed wireless (broadcast via cell phone towers) or satellite NBN, delivered by two Sky Muster satellites.

Service could be spotty, but there were no other options.