From the beginning of its ambition to cover the Internet globally until now, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. SpaceX has launched more than 1500 active Starlink satellites in about a dozen countries. That is a huge cost, when SpaceX’s total investment in this network will cost between $5 – $10 billion.
Musk also added that about $20 billion or $30 billion may be needed in the long term to maintain Starlink’s competitive position. The service currently has over 69,000 active users and could reach half a million within the next 12 months.
“Our goal is not to go bankrupt,” he jokes, looking back at the industry’s rather tumultuous history. “The number one goal for Starlink is to not go bankrupt. If we succeed in not going bankrupt then that would be great and we can move on from there.”
SpaceX aims to provide broadband to up to 5% of the world’s population, where conventional wireless and fiber networks cannot reach. Mr Musk said he had signed two agreements with “big country” telecom operators but could not name them and was in discussions with many others.
Starlink will provide a so-called “reverse process” (or data backhaul) for its network. The satellite network currently moves about 30 terabits of data per second, and Musk said he is currently targeting user latency (or user latency) or network response time (or network response time) under 20 milliseconds.
CEO Elon Musk, who turned 50 on June 28, discussed some of the additional upgrades in an update on his now $74 billion SpaceX business.
The company plans to launch a new satellite version of Starlink in 2022. This version will have laser links between the satellites to help them reach the polar regions.
SpaceX engineers are also developing a new type of ground terminal to prevent loss: the dishes (or satellite dishes) that customers currently install on rooftops cost more than $1000 to make but selling for half the price, he said.
SpaceX is also planning an orbital flight of its massive Starship rocket “in the next few months,” he added.