Fri. Dec 8th, 2023
SpaceX’s Starlink Satellite Connectivity Unit Reaches Milestone

SpaceX’s satellite connectivity unit, Starlink, has achieved a break-even point and is expected to generate revenues of $10 billion next year. CEO Elon Musk announced the milestone on X (formerly Twitter), praising the team’s excellent work. He also mentioned that Starlink is now the majority owner of active satellites and will have launched the most cumulative satellites from Earth by next year.

According to Bloomberg, SpaceX is on track to record revenues of around $9 billion this year from its rocket launch and Starlink businesses. The company’s sales are projected to increase to approximately $15 billion in 2024. Anonymous sources familiar with the matter have stated that Starlink’s sales are expected to surpass the launch business next year. Starlink is anticipated to generate more than $10 billion in total sales, representing the majority of SpaceX’s revenues.

SpaceX was valued at approximately $150 billion in an early-year public acquisition offer. The company launched its first Starlink satellites in 2019 and currently has around 5,000 in orbit. Starlink has approximately 2 million subscribers.

Leaked reports suggest that Starlink’s revenues for 2022 reached $1.4 billion, compared to $222 million the previous year. Musk had previously predicted that Starlink would generate $12 billion in revenue and $7 billion in operating profit in 2022, with 20 million subscribers.

In addition to direct consumer sales, Starlink has signed agreements with dozens of corporate clients, as well as wholesale agreements with telecommunications companies and resellers. The company has entered into agreements with various maritime and aviation customers, as well as direct cellular agreements with telecommunications firms worldwide.

In other satellite news:

– bmobile, an operator in the Solomon Islands, has launched a direct-to-cellular satellite service through satellite operator LEO Lynk Global. The service currently supports SMS and will be initially offered as a beta service on the island of Malaita.
– Canadian telecommunications company Telus has successfully tested satellite-to-device communication. The company partnered with TerreStar Solutions (d/b/a Strigo) and Skylo to make voice calls, send text messages between smartphones, and connect IoT devices via the Echostar T1/TerreStar 1 satellite.
– Telesat has requested a four-and-a-half-year delay to meet the 50% launch requirement for its upcoming Lightspeed satellite network. Satellite launches are set to begin in mid-2026, with polar and global services starting by late 2027.
– Thales Alenia Space, selected as the main manufacturer of the Lightspeed constellation in February 2021, announced this year that it would transition to MDA.
– OneWeb and Marlink will provide satellite connectivity to luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot, owned by the exploration cruise company Ponant.
– LeoLabs, a space tracking company, reported that two Russian satellites, Resurs-P3 and Cosmos-2562, performed proximity maneuvers in orbit. Resurs-P3, previously thought to be non-operational after a solar panel failure, was launched in 2016. Cosmos-2562 is a Russian military satellite launched in 2022.