We join you in struggling to keep count of Elon’s successful business. Musk’s satellite communications project, Starlink, has slowly started to move the needle too, apparently shipping 100K+ units of connectivity terminals to end users so far.
These are basic setups, kinda like TV-dishes, that go on the roof, and connect directly to the internet.
Spell out the details:
- Selling each unit for $499 upfront cost, $99/month payment plan
- Began launching sats only in 2018; Has 1,700 satellites in space already
- Likely churning $120 million/year in revenues
Fact is, the mainstream market still remains woefully unconvinced that satellite internet business could work, given countless others like Dish, OneWeb, have tried and miserably failed.
Biggest drawbacks — this business has HIGH fixed costs to get the satellites up there, so companies inevitably have to push the cost to consumers.
Besides, the latency for a signal reaching a Sat, then reaching back to you, is much longer, which results in significant lag and slowdowns. So, slow + expensive internet!
But Musk has his way of innovating around it apparently.
Big picture — as polished as it may seem, this is barely an MVP. Musk is running the service with a constellation of 1,700 satellites. But meaningful coverage will need that number to multiply 15x. Progress so far should help convince some big ball investors to write fatter checks.
and this is not even the man’s full-time hustle, so that’s that!