How to add home phone service to Starlink satellite internet

Dennis Peng profile image December 20, 2023 | 3 min read

Ooma customers who turn their eyes to the sky and sign up for the Starlink satellite internet service, an offering from Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket venture, can rest assured that Ooma Telo home phone service is Starlink compatible.

Of course, as with any new technology, there are issues to consider. I’ll explain below.

Starlink is busy putting thousands of small satellites into low-earth orbit, just 342 miles above the surface, in comparison to previous geostationary satellite internet service with satellites more than 22,000 miles away. Because Starlink’s satellites are so much closer to earth, the service offers higher speeds and less latency (the time it takes internet data to get from you to its destination).

The testing site Ookla reports that Starlink’s median download speed in the United States in the first quarter of 2023 was 66.59 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 7.74 Mbps upstream.

Ooma’s home VoIP services require only 0.384 Mbps up and down for crystal-clear call quality. Our testing shows no connectivity problems for Ooma when customers use Starlink as their internet service provider.

We’re excited that Starlink is opening the market to customers, such as those in rural areas, who previously didn’t have a fast enough internet connection to tap into the affordability and advanced features of voice over internet (VoIP) phone service.

Ooma is perfect for Starlink customers in remote and rural areas.

See how a Starlink customer uses Ooma home phone to reach the
outside world, including emergency services through 911.

So, what are the issues?

Because low-earth satellites zip across the horizon very fast, there aren’t always enough Starlink satellites above any individual subscriber’s dish to maintain a constant connection.

The result can be breaks in the internet connection that would disrupt any VoIP call in progress. The good news is that SpaceX promises the situation will get better. The good news is that Starlink has launched 5,420 Starlink satellites in orbit as of November 8, 2023. That’s more than triple the number of Starlink satellites that were in orbit in September 2021, which was 1,791. And Starlink says many more are coming.

Not only do you need plenty of satellites to maintain an uninterrupted internet connection, you need to install your Starlink dish in a place with plenty of sky. Download the Starlink mobile app, available for iOS and Android, so you can find the best spot on your property, ideally 100 percent open sky, before you subscribe.

Starlink subscribers can also use the mobile app to track connectivity statistics over time. This can indicate whether the connection at your location is steady enough for VoIP phone calls.

The current Starlink kit, with a square satellite dish, includes a router without an Ethernet jack—the only way to access the internet is through the router’s Wi-Fi® signal. Here are a few ways to connect your Ooma home phone service to Starlink:

  1. The simplest solution is to use an Ooma Telo Air base station because it has built-in Wi-Fi. No Ethernet cables are needed.
  2. While the current Starlink router doesn’t include an Ethernet jack, many consumer Wi-Fi routers do. They can be configured to serve as a bridge through a setting called Bridge Mode, Client Mode or something similar. An Ooma Telo base station, which reaches the internet through an Ethernet cable, can then be plugged into an Ethernet jack on the router.
  3. Starlink sells an Ethernet adapter for approximately $25 that makes a bridge from Wi-Fi to an Ethernet jack. Simply plug an Ooma Telo base station into the Ethernet adapter.

Do you have an original Starlink kit?

If your Starlink kit came with a round satellite dish, you have two options. Its router has an AUX port for inserting an Ethernet cable, so you can connect your Ooma phone service to Starlink with the Ooma Telo base station. Or, use an Ooma Telo Air, if you prefer to connect wirelessly. 

One final tongue-in-cheek out-of-this-world note of caution.

Elon Musk is famously determined to build the first human settlement on Mars. The Starlink terms of service includes this:

“For services provided on Mars, or in transit to Mars via Starship or other spacecraft, the parties recognize Mars as a free planet and that no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities. Accordingly, disputes will be settled through self-governing principles, established in good faith, at the time of Martian settlement.”

Our lawyers want you to know that Ooma doesn’t yet have a plan for providing service on the moon, Mars or other planetary bodies. But we’d love to help the first humans on Mars call home!