Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023
SpaceX’s Agile Approach Presents Challenges for Resellers, Says Starlink Executive

SpaceX’s rapid ability to change and update services has posed challenges for resellers, according to Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Commercial Sales at Starlink, the low Earth orbit (LEO) broadband constellation. While the company’s nimbleness has been advantageous in adapting to evolving customer needs and sudden events like natural disasters, it has also affected resellers. SpaceX’s tendency to introduce new plans on short notice has required resellers to adjust quickly. Hofeller acknowledged the need to improve partnerships and address channel conflicts, even as Starlink looks to its partners to offer additional services such as cybersecurity and customer support.

In a separate announcement, Starlink revealed a partnership with satellite operator SES to provide a joint service for cruise lines. SES will take charge of sales, management, and antenna installation for the combined offering.

Regarding financials, Hofeller did not provide specific details but stated that Starlink no longer subsidizes user antennas. According to documents cited by the Wall Street Journal, Starlink’s revenues in 2022 reached $1.4 billion, up from $222 million the previous year. SpaceX had projected revenue of nearly $12 billion and 20 million subscribers by the end of 2022, along with $7 billion in operating profit, according to a 2015 investor presentation. The company has not commented on recent reports of its financial performance.

In response to a question about the failure rate of Starlink satellites, Hofeller admitted that he did not possess that data. In comparison, OneWeb’s Chief Technology Officer Massimiliano Ladovaz shared that the company had experienced four failures out of its constellation of more than 630 satellites, which he considered a low percentage given the nature of the newspace industry.