AS OF MARCH 2022, ROAMING IS NOW ACTIVE WITH STARLINK!
This article is part of our Starlink coverage and you can find more information in our ultimate Starlink guide for RVers.
In this post, we’ll explain Roaming and answer some questions.
Yay! Starlink roaming is now live
This is the most exciting news for Starlink since, well… Starlink! Just in the last month or so, users have started to notice and report that they are able to “roam” away from their service address further than before, without having to update their address.
What the heck is “roaming” anyway?
This is an actual supported status (not technically a feature) from Starlink called “Service Portability”. Previously, beyond 10 or so miles from your service address you had listed in your account, you would have degraded service and dropouts at best, and no service typically beyond about 15 or so miles.
What this means for RVers
Now with Roaming active, you can roam virtually anywhere in the U.S. and Mexico (yes, you read that right!) without even having to login and change anything!! I wish I could include Canada in this right now, but the reports are sparse at best for there with roaming so far.
This is what we have all been waiting for since Starlink offered service. Many of us have been using the address change workaround since the early days of Starlink to be able to travel with it, but it was like a cat and mouse game trying to find an open cell with availability to be able to change your address to reflect where you were to be able to have service at all.
Roaming opens up new possibilities
Now, thanks to Roaming being a thing, you can actually roam anywhere there is coverage and it doesn’t even have to be a (traditionally) open cell. In fact, users are reporting using it outside of what is even listed on the (new) Starlink Official Coverage Map! Best news ever, right?! Well, it really is…but we want you to be aware of the caveats with it. First of all, Starlink only guarantees service at your listed service address on your account, and they state this explicitly when you are placing your original order and it is in the TOS. That being said, in their “Pre-Order Agreement”, they specifically have a section on “Service Portability”. In there, they state “If the portability feature (“Portability”) is available in your region, you may relocate your Kit and access Services at locations outside your registered Service address on your account (“Secondary Location(s)”).” Basically, you can roam :).
What does roaming=true mean?
“I keep seeing ‘roaming=true’ on that Starlink Facebook Group…what does that actually MEAN?” Good question! Basically, it means that the roaming “status” is enabled on that account (which it seems to be for virtually everyone these days). If you get your and set it up at or near your listed service address, yours will likely say “roaming=false”. This is simply because you are not roaming, you are at or near your service address. If you move away from it without updating your address in your account, this will likely change to “roaming=true”.
How To Find Out If My Starlink Is In Roaming
Where do you find this, you ask? Follow these instructions to find it in your debug data on the app:
Open the Starlink app and click on “Settings”
Scroll down and click on “Advanced”
Scroll down and click on “Debug Data”
Scroll down until you see the word “Dish” in bold. Open the “Alerts” section. Keep scrolling and you will see the Roaming indicator.
In the Dish section, you will see it under the “Alerts” section
As you can see in the last screenshot, mine is listed as “False” as I updated my service address to near my current location. By doing this, I am guaranteed as good of service as they can offer here (although there currently doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of service degradation when roaming…may change as more congestion with more users happens in the future).
Having Trouble With Roaming?
If you can’t get online while roaming or are having subpar service, the first thing you want to do is see if your firmware is up to date. You can see the firmware list and release dates here. You may have to update your service location to near or at where you are to get the update and may need to unplug and plug it back in to get it to try to update. If this doesn’t help, head on over to Starlink for RVers and other mobile users Facebook Group to see if we can help.