OneWeb vs. Starlink: A Head-to-Head Comparison

OneWeb vs. Starlink: A Head-to-Head Comparison

In the rapidly evolving landscape of satellite internet technology, OneWeb and Starlink have garnered significant attention. Over the past five months, IP Access International has compared the performance of these two contenders shaping the future of satellite internet. 

We’ve talked to users who have had experience with both, and today, we’ll discuss the main differences we’ve noticed.

Overview of OneWeb and Starlink

Starlink, a division of SpaceX, and OneWeb, a UK-based broadband satellite organization, are racing to redefine satellite broadband. Contrary to the conventional competitive narrative, these two entities navigate the skies collaboratively, propelling space-based connectivity evolution.

What is Starlink?

Starlink, led by billionaire Elon Musk, has become a space-based connectivity and exploration leader. Boasting a “mega constellation” of orbiting satellites, Starlink aims to enable widespread connectivity for the average consumer from any location.

Having commenced its satellite launches in 2019, Starlink utilizes SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets to propel the initial segments of its satellite constellation beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The company presently provides internet access to over two million active customers and is available in over 60 countries on all seven continents.

What is OneWeb?

Established in 2012, OneWeb is dedicated to expanding global connectivity. While OneWeb may seem like the underdog compared to Starlink, it has transcended startup status. The company enjoys substantial support from prominent international investors and organizations and is poised for a promising future.

According to their website, OneWeb is “going further than anyone else to help businesses and communities achieve their potential and improve the world’s access to information.”


Both OneWeb and Starlink emerge as formidable players, each with unique capabilities and considerations. Let’s explore the distinct characteristics of both, shedding light on their operational nuances and implications for users.


OneWeb has brought high-speed, low Earth orbit connectivity with low latency for primary, backup and hybrid capabilities. 

OneWeb’s satellite communications network features more than 630 satellites along 12 carefully synchronized orbital planes in low Earth orbit (LEO). Each satellite connects seamlessly to the antennas (user terminals) and ground network below, transmitting data in real-time and at high speed as they fly. 

LEO antennas can view multiple moving satellites at any time and connect with the greatest accuracy, even in places that are hardest to reach.


Starlink’s performance, driven by a massive user base, has shown fluctuations. Large-scale events or disasters lead to noticeable degradation in speeds. Instances of performance decline have become more prevalent, impacting users in critical situations.

“Due to Starlink’s large consumer adoption, we have had numerous situations in which “tent pole events” (like large public events or disasters where many Starlink terminals are clustered in a centralized area) have caused speeds and performance to be noticeably degraded.”

Bryan Hill, CEO

IP Access International


Both OneWeb and Starlink offer substantial bandwidth but with distinctive features.

OneWeb Bandwidth

OneWeb excels by providing the option to purchase Committed Information Rate (CIR), ensuring dedicated bandwidth for critical applications. Additionally, users can choose the location of their ground station, allowing them to route traffic to a specific area without traversing the internet.

As part of a demonstration prepared for the NATO Communications and Information Agency (NCIA), the company conducted a Proof of Concept (PoC) test, establishing connectivity with its LEO constellation. 

The test achieved seamless streaming of 4K video feeds and simultaneous operation of various applications, including Microsoft Teams, Twitch, and Google Earth. Notably, download speeds reached 195Mbps, uploads recorded at 32Mbps, and latency times dropped to as low as 70ms.

Starlink Bandwidth

Per Starlink’s website, Starlink users commonly encounter download speeds ranging from 25 to 220 Mbps, with a significant majority experiencing speeds surpassing 100 Mbps. Additionally, upload speeds typically fall within 5 to 20 Mbps.

However, Starlink lacks a Bandwidth Assurance feature, raising concerns about the implications for users who depend on consistent and reliable internet speeds.

Comparative Reliability: Starlink vs. OneWeb

It’s critical to maintain consistent connectivity, especially in demanding situations. Let’s discuss the reliability of Starlink vs. OneWeb in critical scenarios, emphasizing the suitability for different user needs.

Starlink offers highly reliable internet service, especially for users in remote areas. Reviewers worldwide have praised its high download and upload speeds, and users note that Starlink is a viable solution where traditional options are unavailable. 

However, some users have reported that it can occasionally fail or suffer from hiccups, potentially impacting its suitability for critical situations and disasters like the Lahaina fires.

OneWeb is committed to meeting the demands of users who require a consistent and trustworthy internet experience.

In challenging geographical landscapes where traditional broadband struggles, OneWeb stands out as a dependable solution. It ensures that users in remote and hard-to-reach areas experience consistent and robust internet connections. 

As a cost-effective and reliable option, OneWeb emerges as a game-changer, addressing the connectivity needs of those previously underserved by conventional internet providers.

OneWeb’s infrastructure circumvents congestion and minimizes packet loss, contributing to superior connection quality. OneWeb exhibits heightened reliability compared to traditional terrestrial networks, which are known for susceptibility to weather-related disruptions.

Support Disparities

Adequate customer support is crucial in the satellite internet industry. Starlink and OneWeb take different approaches that could impact routine user operations.

Starlink’s Support System

Starlink relies exclusively on email support, presenting potential limitations in providing real-time assistance, especially in urgent situations.

OneWeb’s Support System

OneWeb excels in customer support with 24/7 phone assistance, ensuring accessibility and robust troubleshooting capabilities.

Consumer Base Dynamics

Understanding a platform’s target audience helps users make informed decisions based on their needs. Let’s explore how each contender caters to a diverse consumer base.

OneWeb’s Public Safety Emphasis

While OneWeb aims to provide high-speed internet globally, it focuses on serving businesses. By directing its efforts toward commercial audiences, OneWeb can fulfill its goal of enhancing the Internet of Things (IoT). Although consumers can still access OneWeb’s satellite broadband, the primary emphasis is on catering to business clientele.

Starlink’s Consumer-Oriented Approach

Starlink, on the other hand, is committed to delivering high-speed internet accessibility for all. With a primary focus on residential customers, Starlink also serves businesses but emphasizes individuals in rural areas lacking traditional land-based infrastructure.

Recap of Key Differences

The performance, bandwidth options, reliability, support systems, and target audience emphasis vary between OneWeb and Starlink. Understanding these differences is essential for users seeking reliable, high-performance satellite internet solutions tailored to their needs.

OneWeb vs. Starlink At a Glance



# of Satellites
(November 2023)
630 5,500
Bandwidth Offers dedicated bandwidth options Absence of bandwidth assurance, potential implications for users
Reliability Consistent and trustworthy, especially in challenging landscapes Reliable internet service, occasional hiccups reported
Latency Sub-100 millisecond latency Advertised: 20-40 ms, Field tests: 40-50 ms (Slightly better than OneWeb)
Support System 24/7 phone support, accessible troubleshooting Exclusive reliance on email support, potential limitations in real-time assistance
Consumer Base Dynamics Business-focused with an emphasis on IoT Consumer-oriented, focusing on residential users in rural areas

Elevate Your Connectivity with IP Access

As you explore the dynamic realm of satellite internet, choosing OneWeb and Starlink is pivotal. IP Access International, leveraging over two decades of expertise, provides a nuanced perspective on their distinctions.

For tailored solutions, consider your specific needs. OneWeb provides consistent and robust connectivity for businesses and challenging geographical landscapes. Starlink, with a focus on high-speed accessibility, caters to both residential and business users, particularly in rural areas.

Choosing the right provider is crucial as you navigate the dynamic landscape of satellite internet technology. With over two decades of expertise, IP Access International offers a unique perspective on the distinctions between OneWeb and Starlink.

At IP Access International, we champion satellite broadband connectivity. As we look to the future, we’re excited to introduce our cutting-edge solution, SuperGIG™. SuperGIG™ seamlessly blends land and space-based networks, delivering unparalleled performance and reliability for public safety and critical enterprise operations.

Boasting speeds of up to 500Mbps, SuperGIG™ is crafted explicitly for both stationary and mobile public safety and enterprise-critical operations.

This cost-effective solution is complemented by round-the-clock assistance, ensuring continuous support. With a unified subscription across all networks, SuperGIG™ presents a robust package that seamlessly combines exceptional performance, reliability, and extensive coverage to meet your needs wherever and however you require it.

For further insights into our connectivity solutions, contact us today.