Tesla CEO Elon Musk has set his sights on a new business segment which is already significantly dominated by existing behemoths – the telecommunications industry.
Earlier this month, Musk became the richest person in the world as the electric auto company he had co-founded broke all records to also become the most valued auto company of the world. Tesla has been able to accelerate the urge among conventional auto makers to speed up their projects on electric cars. Musk has also disrupted the aerospace industry with his reusable rockets.
Having launched more than 1,000 satellites for its Starlink internet service by Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the internet service has already been able to rope in customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The aim of Starlink is to gain a share of the $1 trillion market that comprises of in-flight internet, maritime services, demand in China and India and rural customers such as Brian Rendel, SpaceX has told investors.
The Starlink project of SpaceX is a constellation of low-Earth satellites that have the target to provide broadband internet to even the remotest of places in the world.
“The big deal is that people are happy with the service and the economics of Starlink versus other alternatives,” a Bloomberg report quoted Luigi Peluso, managing director with Alvarez & Marsal as saying. “SpaceX has demonstrated the viability of their solution,” Peluso said.
That network is now being expanded by SpaceX. Since Starlink if the first B2C product for SpaceX, this space exploration company is targeting to further expand its internet coverage and is launching more satellites in the constellation and building more ground stations while also making significant improvements to the networking software that supports the constellation of satellites. According to the company, these enhancements and expansion will help the company to ultimately provide much better data transfer speed, latency and uptime for the the internet services being offered by this product of Starlink.
Elon Musk has previously indicated his intention to eventually make a public listing of Starlink after it is spun off in to a separate entity going forward. If that happens, it will provide Musk with another tool to benefit from the stock market which could also propel his personal wealth to unprecedented heights.
After he had struggled for years because of sluggish internet speeds, Rendel became a Starlink tester in November. After he paid about $500 for the equipment, FedEx arrived with a flat dish and antenna. Rendel is now getting speeds of 100 megabytes per second for downloads and 15 to 20 for uploads against $99 a month,
“This is a game changer,” said Rendel, a mental health counsellor, who can now easily watch movies and hold meetings with clients over Zoom. “It makes me feel like I’m part of civilisation again.”
For months, SpaceX has been launching Starlink satellites on its Falcon 9 rockets in batches of 60 at a time, and the 17th Starlink launch was on January 20.
(Adapted from BussinessStandard.com)