Starlink promises satellite internet coverage “almost anywhere in the world,” but soon after the service launched, it began to suffer capacity issues, even in areas where there was coverage.
So how long is the waitlist for Starlink in your area?
If you happen to live in countries like North America, Canada, Australia, or Japan, the news is good: no more Starlink waitlist for you. This was announced by Starlink in October 2023.
Prior to that, you could get Roam faster, but Starlink Roam is a more expensive package.
To top it all, the high level of demand in many areas meant that speeds were slower than advertised, both for Residential and Roam clients.
As for prospective Starlink Residential clients, the waitlist was very long indeed, with “Best Effort” later being introduced for waitlist customers who would be satisfied with a slowed-down service.
How Can I Tell Whether There’s A Waitlist In My Country?
Of course, not everyone in the world lives in the US, Canada, Australia, or the parts of Europe and Africa where Starlink is advertising full service availability.
Ukraine still has a waitlist, and there are a few countries where Starlink will not be available owing to regulatory constraints: for example, China, Iran, and Russia.
Waitlists still apply in countries like Ukraine, while there’s still a sizable chunk of the world where Starlink is “coming soon.”
How soon that will be isn’t very clear, but you can check it out by visiting the Starlink Map. It’s interactive, so you can search for your area to take a closer look.
There has been some progress on extending coverage outside the US, with availability in Africa expanding in 2023 and Starlink promising further coverage in 2024.
If you don’t have coverage in your country yet, you can get an estimated ETA from the Starlink Map.
Why The Waitlists?
Starlink has to deploy a lot of satellites to get worldwide coverage – and we mean a lot! Musk has said that the eventual plan for Starlink is a total of 42K satellites in orbit and it still has a long way to go before reaching that target.
Of course, as soon as coverage was available in some parts of the world, Starlink launched. The alternative would be to have the satellites it had already launched being idle.
But it did mean that Starlink was still a work in progress, hence the waitlists.
And, when it wasn’t because of limited coverage, waitlists were assigned when there was so much demand that the system wasn’t coping.
This left some users feeling disillusioned – either because they couldn’t get Starlink at all, or because they got it, only to find that speeds and availability weren’t quite what they’d expected.
Finally, it makes sense to get good coverage in some of the highest-demand areas where Starlink can expect a good return on its investment before expanding.
It’s no wonder that countries like the USA, Canada, New Zealand, etc are getting a reprieve on the waitlist while some countries still have “coming soon” status.
After all, the alternative would be an unreliable worldwide service instead of one that works to spec in places where many people want Starlink and can afford to pay for it.
Starlink Coming Soon
Hoping to travel the world with Starlink or anticipating its arrival in your country? According to the Starlink Map, a massive rollout is expected in 2024.
But some countries have not yet approved Starlink operations in their countries.
That’s why India, for example, represents a dark spot on the map despite the millions of potential subscribers living there and its popularity as an adventure destination for travellers.
In other countries, you’ll find Starlink flagging the area as “service date unknown.”
So, if you’re planning to go on an African safari with Starlink, for example, you should check out the map to see what your chances of getting service are.
Current and Soon-to-Come Starlink Waitlist Areas
At time of writing, only Ukraine still appears to have a Starlink waitlist. The rest of the world either has Starlink, or doesn’t.
We’d speculate that many of the areas with no current service will go through a transition following the rollout of Starlink with many of them going through a waitlist phase.
This could cover a period in which Starlink is available, but not up to capacity just yet.
However, the new generation of Starlink satellites is said to be much more efficient than the older one, so this scenario may never play out.
It’s possible that you’ll go from “coming soon” to “available” with no waitlist hiatus. Time will tell!
A Different Type of Waiting: Starlink Delivery
If you’re wondering how long you’ll wait for your Starlink equipment after ordering, that’s another question altogether.
The Starlink waitlist is officially the waitlist for service availability. But, in case you were wondering how long it would take you to get your Starlink gear after placing an order, we’ve looked at that too.
The official waiting time for deliveries is currently two to eight weeks. Reddit users are reporting delivery in as little as three days, however.
And some users, preferring not to risk being on the 8-week end of the scale, are getting their Starlink gear through third party vendors.
Final Thought For Roam Users
In the past, many people who really wanted the Starlink Residential plan for home internet opted for the costlier Roam package. That’s because Residential was on the waitlist while Roam wasn’t.
If this is you, the time has come to switch to Residential and save a few bucks. In most parts of the world where Starlink has service, the Starlink waitlist is now a thing of the past.
So, unless you’re planning to travel with your Starlink, make the change to Residential now.
The Bottom Line: Starlink Waitlist Is Over
Remember, the Starlink Waitlist only applies to countries where Starlink has service.
If you live in one of the countries that doesn’t have Starlink service, there’s no waitlist to join – at least, not yet.
Ukraine still has a waitlist, and it’s hard to tell how long that may be – it’s even difficult to say when hardware might arrive in a country experiencing all the disruptions that go with a war.
Meanwhile, Starlink availability continues to expand with recent and planned expansions in Africa, South America, and parts of the Far East.
Does Starlink provide global coverage? Not as yet. The “almost anywhere in the world” marketing claim isn’t quite true at this time. So, it depends on how you define “almost anywhere.”
It seems that Russia and China aren’t due for any Starlink, so even in the longer term, that’s going to exclude about 17 percent of the world’s landmass.
And it’s still in question whether restrictive countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran will ever allow Starlink, so we can tack a few more percentage points onto that for good measure.
Nevertheless, for a great many people who have been eager to sign up for Starlink, the wait is over.
In areas where there’s no service yet, there may or may not be a post-launch waitlist. If this is you, you’ll have to play the waiting game and see what happens.