Yes, Starlink satellite internet supports Wi-Fi calling.

Satellite internet and Wi-Fi calling

Most satellite internet connections are not well suited for a service like Wi-Fi calling. While satellite internet can provide an excellent, high-speed internet connection, its one weakness is latency. Latency is often confused with having a slow, or unstable connection, probably because slow and unstable connections often have high latency, but latency isn’t actually an indicator of either. Latency is the amount of time it takes for one piece of data to go from your computer to its destination and back.

That may sound like speed, but what it really means is delay. When talking about speed in terms of internet connections, it’s the amount of data over time that’s measured. That’s why connections are listed as an amount of data per second like 10MBps, for example. Latency though, is just listed as an amount of time in milliseconds like this – 200ms. With those two examples, it means that it will take 200ms for the transfer to start and then 10MB can be transferred every second thereafter.

So, what does that mean for Wi-Fi calling?

Satellite internet has a typical latency of about 630ms, and while that’s only a little over half a second, Wi-Fi calling sends information in packets that then get interpreted on the other end. When these packets don’t arrive as expected, they can be misinterpreted, leading to dropped calls, odd sounds and static, as well as echoes, etc.

Why does it work on Starlink?

Starlink has gotten around this problem by putting satellites in a much lower orbit than usual. This means that Starlink needs an enormous number of satellites (around 42,000) to be able to provide service all over the world. Starlink only has about 1800 of them so far, which is why availability is so sparse. Having the satellites closer eliminates the latency problem though and provides a latency comparable to ground based internet solutions.

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