Elon Musk said at a conference MWCSpaceX’s satellite Internet is supposed to have nearly 500,000 users within the next twelve months.
Musk explained that SpaceX’s current goal is to bring broadband internet to most of the planet by August.
Musk noted at MWC that Starlink has launched more than 1,700 satellites into low Earth orbit since 2018 and recently exceeded a strategically important benchmark of 69,420 active users.
“Starlink operates in 12 countries and is expanding,” he said. And I think we’re going to have a few hundred thousand users, maybe more than 500,000 users in 12 months.
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Reaching half a million users in the next year and spreading global Internet coverage in the next two months is a very ambitious goal for Starlink.
Internet is sold directly to consumers in rural parts of the world and to governments looking for better military Internet connections.
As a result, many individual users pay $99 per month for the internet under the trial version.
SpaceX promises a download speed of 100 Mbps and an upload speed of 20 Mbps.
Challenges abound on the path to opening commercial service and providing global Internet coverage. And while each Starlink terminal costs $499 to consumers. Musk admitted at the conference that each station costs SpaceX twice, or more than $1,000.
SpaceX said in April it had halved the cost of the station from $3,000. It aims to get it down to a few hundred dollars over the next year or two.
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Musk said Starlink has signed deals with two telecom operators from major countries. But he did not mention their names.
Mask Starlink complements existing 5G providers rather than competing with them directly. He said, “You can think of Starlink as filling the gaps between 5G and fiber and reaching the hard-to-reach parts of the world.”
Meanwhile, Musk said Starlink’s total investment could reach between $20 billion and $30 billion.
Once the network is fully up and running, SpaceX hopes to generate an estimated $30 billion in profit using Starlake and possibly be separated from SpaceX for an IPO.
Most of that revenue funds SpaceX’s Starship system, which is the basis for Musk’s ambitions to take humans to the moon and Mars.
In addition, Musk said the first orbital test launch of the Starship system could take place sometime in the next few months.