Tesla CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk said at the Mobile World Congress that Starlink is a series of low-orbit satellites that provide high-speed, low-latency connections. It has begun to provide trial services and the goal is to start coverage in August. global.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said on Tuesday that his Starlink joint venture is growing rapidly because he predicts that the total investment cost of the satellite Internet business will be between US$20 billion and US$30 billion.
Without disclosing details, he also stated that Starlink has “two very important partnerships with major national telecommunications companies” that can help the SpaceX department fill the gap in fifth-generation mobile and cellular networks.
The CEO of Tesla and the founder of SpaceX said that SpaceX is a rocket company seeking to colonize Mars. He said that before Starlink achieves a completely positive cash flow, the investment cost will reach $5 billion to $10 billion.
“Basically, it’s a lot,” Musk said in a video interview with the Mobile World Congress, the largest annual event in the telecommunications industry in California and now in Barcelona.
Musk said that Starlink is a series of low-orbit satellites that provide high-speed, low-latency connections. It has already provided a trial service with the goal of covering the world except the North Pole and South Pole from August.
It has more than 1,500 satellites and operates in about a dozen countries/regions. It is increasing every month. Musk predicts that in the next 12 months, the total number of customers will increase from the current 69,000 to 500,000.
Some analysts question whether satellite Internet can become a viable business model because it is mainly targeted at remote areas where there may not be enough people to pay the high tariffs required to recover investment costs.
Musk said that he is negotiating with possible partners because many countries/regions require operators to provide rural coverage as a condition of their 5G licenses.
He also said that if telecom operators have cell sites in remote areas, they can use Starlink to connect to the core network.
The rapid spread of wireless and terrestrial broadband and high prices are important factors that stifle the previous low-Earth orbit satellite companies.
Musk said that Starlink is selling terminals at half price, adding that he expects to reduce terminal costs from more than US$1,000 to US$300-500 in the next 12 months.
“If we succeed in not going bankrupt, that would be great, and we can move on from there,” he said.
Starlink faces competition from many players, including Amazon.com Inc’s subsidiaries Kuiper and OneWeb, a failed satellite operator rescued by the British government and India’s Bharti Enterprises.