Why It’s So EXPENSIVE To Keep STARLINK Live
Elon Musk’s Starlink is the company’s capital-intensive project to build an interconnected
internet network with thousands of satellites, known in the space industry as a constellation,
designed to deliver high-speed internet to consumers anywhere on the planet. We have talked
about these stalinks in detail in our previous videos. SpaceX has launched 1,740 Starlink
satellites to date, with its first generation system beginning launches in November 2019. The
plan is to send 42,000 starlinks in space that will make a network around the globe. At first, this
number was 12,000 but another 30,000 was added later.
Recently, at the Barcelona Mobile World Congress tech conference via video link, the spaceX
CEO said that the constellation of internet satellites, Starlink, will need up to $30 billion in
funding to survive. Musk claimed that the business was losing money on its Starlink terminals,
which allow users to get broadband from existing satellites in orbit. The SpaceX CEO said the
projections for Starlink’s business costs were estimated between $20 billion and $30 billion.
According to the billionaire, the terminals cost $1,000 to manufacture and the startup sells them
for $500 plus a $99 monthly membership. The kit includes a tripod, WiFi router, and terminal to
connect to the satellites. The company is planning to develop a new variant of its terminal that
will be less expensive to manufacture.
The starlink project has also signed two new partnerships but the company refrained from
disclosing the names. This appears to be a typical Musk technique of promising big things
without offering any proof. Right now, the active users of starlink are around 70 thousand. But
they are planning to get more through the developments. According to the reports, Musk said, “If
we succeed in not going bankrupt, then that’ll be great, and we can move on from there.” Musk
has previously stated that the most difficult task for any high-speed internet satellite company is
According to Gwynne Shotwell, the president of the company, SpaceX will be able to beam
down Starlink satellite internet to the whole world by about September. Shotwell in a video
conference said, “We’ve successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites, and once all those satellites
reach their operational orbit we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like
September timeframe.” However, Musk recently tweeted that Starlink would exit its initial beta
phase in October, which indicates that the service is continuing to ramp up and expand. That’s
two months later than the August date Musk gave at Mobile World Congress, when he also said
he expected the service to have “possibly over 500,000 users within 12 months.”
Starlink operates its beta in 11 countries, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of
Europe. Global coverage of Starlink’s service could allow more and more rural and underserved
communities to get fast broadband.
Skeptics doubt that satellite internet will ever create a viable business model because the primary
market it serves is those living in distant places, who are too few in number to afford the high
upfront expenses. He pushed back against that idea, saying that Starlink could help fill in the
gaps in fifth-generation mobile and fibre-optic networks. Musk said, “There’s a need for
connectivity in places that don’t have it right now.’ And once the service is rolled out worldwide,
users could expect internet speeds of up to 209.17 megabits per second.
Musk said in 2020 that Starlink will generate $30 billion in yearly income, but such a figure
would necessitate tens of millions of people signing up. Given that the internet is used by over
70% of the world’s population, Starlink would only need to persuade a small fraction of internet
users to switch to their service.
To compete with Amazon subsidiary Kuiper, the British government-owned OneWeb, and
Telesat, Starlink needs to scale swiftly. If Musk can persuade investors that scaling this
technology will cost billions of dollars, other investors will be less likely to back the