Starlink vs LTE: A Comprehensive Comparison

Starlink vs LTE, We do admit that having access to a satellite or cellular internet is revolutionary, especially if you can’t get hold of cable or fiber optic. 

Thankfully, Starlink and LTE have held the fort in this sector and offered excellent internet services to individuals in both rural and urban areas. 

Starlink is a newbie, while LTE has been around since its inception in 2004. 

So, what constitutes a Starlink vs LTE internet? You might be wondering where their differences come in and the best option of the two. 

Lucky for you, we will be discussing the qualities of each based on coverage, cost, speed, scalability, accessibility, and installation. 

What is LTE?

Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a cellular/wireless network technology offering high-speed data transfer for electrical devices like tablets and smartphones. 

It is a descendant of the UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems), a 3rd generation cellular technology.

 Moreover, it has standards and specifications from the 3GPP Third Generation Partnership Project).

Also, its mobile internet services are commonly known as 4G/LTE since its advanced features go beyond the 4th generation of wireless technology. As such, you’ll find four kinds of LTE:

  • LTE Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro — 4.9G/Pre-5G)
  • LTE Advanced (LTE+LTE-A — 4.5G)
  • LTE (3.9G)
LTE 4G High-speed wireless internet telecommunication concept

(LTE 4G High-speed wireless internet telecommunication concept)

Starlink vs LTE: Coverage and Accessibility

Starlink has made steps to ensure customers in remote areas can access the internet service. 

Thus, provided you have an installed Starlink antenna and a clear sky view, you’ll be virtually able to use Starlink.

 Starlink’s continued launch of new satellites will result in more coverage. 

On the other hand, LTE mainly focuses on urban areas, even though it is available worldwide.

 Luckily, it enables users to send messages, make phone calls, and connect to the internet on condition that you’re within its network coverage. 

An example of a telecommunication network for 5G LTE mobile web in the US and North America

 (An example of a telecommunication network for 5G LTE mobile web in the US and North America)

Starlink vs LTE: Speed and Latency 

Secondly, Starlink can have a latency of at least 20ms and internet speeds ranging from 20 to 150Mbps (Upload speed–20Mbps, Download speed-150Mbps).

The low latency makes it ideal for real-time applications such as video conferencing and online gaming. 

However, weather conditions may disrupt Starlink instead of LTE, which remains unnoticeably steady in stormy weather. 

Satellite dishes covered with snow causing communication problems

 (Satellite dishes covered with snow causing communication problems)

Conversely, LTE has upload speeds of about 45Mbps, download speeds approximating 300Mbps, and a latency ranging from 20ms to 50ms. 

The latency range is often due to signal strength, network congestion, and nearest cell towers. 

Other times, your equipment and network can influence the speeds. For instance, through research, we’ve established that an LTE Advanced Pro may have its highest download speeds at 3Gbps. 

Starlink vs LTE: Installation and Equipment 

SpaceX has kicked the installation process a notch by providing videos and instructions on its website. 

With Starlink’s set of guides, the installation and configuration procedure will be a breeze. 

Mostly, the guidelines apply to a Residential plan because the Roaming and Business plans will need a certified professional to conduct the installation ($99 extra for charges). 

As for LTE, you are in luck since it doesn’t employ much equipment. The LTE industry pre-configures its Wi-Fi routers and carrier modems. 

Therefore, users will simply connect them to power and enjoy their internet. 

USB modem LTE 4G connected to the laptop

 (USB modem LTE 4G connected to the laptop)

Starlink vs LTE: Price

If we put Starlink and LTE on a price scale, Starlink breaks the bank. On average, you’ll need about $120 monthly as your subscription fee, but this will depend on your plan.

 Starlink has five packages, and the residential plan is the cheapest. Other interest plans are Maritime, Roaming (Mobile), and Business. 

Additionally, you’ll need an upfront fee of $599 for the equipment like dish and router. Nonetheless, installation is straightforward, so don’t fret about getting a professional here. 

Starlink dish and WiFi router on a windowsill

(Starlink dish and WiFi router on a windowsill)

On the contrary, the LTE company charges a different amount for each provider. Normally, an LTE receiver costs an average of $200. 

A separate plan like AT&T’s fixed-access wireless rural plan offers a maximum speed of 10Mbps and will cost you $50 monthly. 

Is Starlink better than LTE?

As Starlink enthusiasts, we find the ISP to be sophisticated and powerful. However, if your residence has a nearby cell tower, you can equally use an LTE internet because it’s less costly and gets less ionospheric interference.

For the most part, we will recommend mobile internet. But, if you’re constantly on the move or live in a remote area, Starlink should be your go-to choice.

 Its exceptionally excellent services and quality will make you overlook its high price. 

Also, note that a standard Starlink router can support approximately 128 electronics. If you’re on a business plan, you’ll connect to at least 200 devices. 


We hold Starlink to a high degree when considering the coverage in rural areas, speeds, and low latency. 

However, we are aware of its mishaps like being costly and being in high demand, hence unable to accommodate everyone. 

Under such circumstances, you can consider an LTE. LTE may not be our go-to choice, but it is cheap, isn’t easily affected by the weather, and has high speeds depending on the type you’re using. 

If you wish to know more about Starlink and how they compare to other ISPs, proceed to our website