The starlink project, which will bring internet signal through a constellation of satellites, is still a bit far from generating profits 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 receive the signal. The cost of the equipment is about US$1,000 in the current version, with sales 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 get to the level at which this money is generated is between $5 and $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 coming and will have connections between the units, improving connectivity, with version 2.0, slated for 2022, “is significantly more capable”. The next generation of terminals should be cheaper and just as powerful.
In addition, Musk confirmed that he has discussed “two possible partnerships” in a number of countries, most notably to deliver 5G signals to rural areas – which are not the government’s priority areas where such connectivity has just been implemented.
Currently in beta phase, the global launch of Internet service via starlink is scheduled for September this year. There have been more than ten launches of new satellite groups in 2021 alone, and 500,000 pre-bookings have already been confirmed.