The Starlink project, which will bring internet signal via a constellation of satellites, is still a bit far from generating profit for SpaceX. The information was revealed by the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, in an interview given during the virtual edition of MWC 2021.
According to the businessman, the company is “losing money” with the current terminal that is part of the Starlink kit and receives the signal. The cost of the equipment is around US$1,000 in the current version, with sales at around US$500 and the rest of the cost being covered by the brand itself.
In more practical terms, Musk indicated that Starlink needs to generate up to $30 billion in revenue to become a fully functioning, profitable company. The problem is that the investment to reach the level at which this money is generated is between US$ 5 billion and US$ 10 billion.
Looking for improvements
On the other hand, SpaceX is racing to develop equipment that is both cheaper and more powerful. Version 1.5 of the satellites is forthcoming and will have links between the units, which improves connectivity, with version 2.0, scheduled for 2022, “is significantly more capable”. The next generation of terminals should be cheaper and equally powerful.
In addition, Musk confirmed that he has been talking about “two possible partnerships” in a number of countries, especially to provide 5G signal to rural areas — which are not the government priority areas where such connectivity has barely begun to be implemented.
Currently in Beta phase, the global launch of internet provision via Starlink is scheduled for September this year. There have been more than ten launches of new satellite groups in 2021 alone, with 500,000 pre-reservations already confirmed.