Starlink Will Still Be Too Expensive for Elon Musk and His Shareholders

A planned 20 to 30 billion dollar envelope


SpaceX Billionaire Boss Elon Musk Assessed Tuesday “20 to 30 billion dollars” (approximately 17 to 25 billion euros) the amount you will have to invest in the long term in your Starlink satellite Internet project.

“Before you can have positive cash, you will probably need (invest) at least five billion dollars, maybe tenexplained Elon Musk during a remote intervention at the Barcelona Mobile World Fair (MWC). Even when cash flow is green, we will continue to invest so we don’t fall behind innovations” in the satellite business, he said. “In the end, it could reach 20 to 30 billion dollars” estimated Elon Musk, while his big rival, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, plans to invest $10 billion in his competing satellite project called Kuiper. Read the full article at Le Figaro

Internet available worldwide until August

The concept

Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite network, provides residents of remote areas not covered by fiber optics or state-of-the-art mobile networks with high-performance Internet access. Currently, customers benefit from bandwidth ranging from 50 to 150 megabits per second on reception, with latency ranging from 30 to 60 milliseconds. Eventually, when its constellation of satellites is fully deployed in low orbit and the network reaches cruising speed, SpaceX plans to offer satellite internet with near fiber-optic performance (the company targets 1 gigabit per second in download and 20 milliseconds at most).

So far, the network has the operation of 1,500 satellites that, according to Elon Musk, have a total bandwidth of about 30 terabits per second. This allows the company to offer its services in a dozen countries, while new markets will open very quickly. ” Starting in August, we should have global connectivity everywhere, except at the hubs” also nominated the head of Space X. Read the full article about Les Numériques

A treasure in need of money

The primary need

We reported last November how the venture was initially expensive for the company. If the monthly subscription fixed at 99 dollars (83 euros), in addition to the 500 dollars to buy the necessary equipment for the connection, seems to represent a significant gift for the company, it is nothing a priori – at least for now.

Elon Musk admitted in his speech that each of the terminals sold for $499 (419.5 euros) cost more than twice as much to produce. And once again, before other economies of scale foreseen in the future, the situation has improved considerably: the first copies cost 3,000 dollars (2,500 euros). The cash flow of the company is therefore in red, dark and flashing. ” Before we make any money, we’ll be at least $5 billion negative [4,2 milliards d’euros]and maybe 10. So that’s a lot,” admitted Musk. Read the full article on Slate

An ecological impact to study

The results

The ecological cost of the Starlink project is not quantified, but we can estimate that our consumption of digital data and connected objects could explode. Elon Musk also announced, during a conference on March 9, 2020, that customers will be able to watch high definition movies, play video games and do whatever they want” and all that with performance superior to traditional satellite internet with a global network without the limit of terrestrial infrastructure” we can read on the Starlink website.

To receive the signal from the satellites, Elon Musk will have to face the construction of millions of domestic antennas. Ten thousand Americans already have it, and half the country says it’s ready to switch to this new offering. These antennas will not be produced in the United States, but will be “Made in Taiwan”. Of course, they will have to be constantly supplied with electricity at the customer’s premises. Read the full article on

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