Most non-astronauts don’t usually spend too much time thinking about what’s happening in space because they’re distracted by the mess on the planet where they currently live. The legal space industry, however, is lightyears ahead in its plan for accessible and cost-effective high-speed internet services through a constellation of 12 000 satellites into the low Earth orbit (LEO).
The Starlink Internet Satellite Business IPO
The father of Tesla, Elon Musk founded SpaceX in 2002, which is currently valued at $33.4 billion with an estimated annual revenue $3 billion. The private company has disrupted its fellow legal space industries by launching satellites at a much lower cost and is the first company to deliver cargo to the International Space Station while also reusing the first stages of its rockets more than once.
SpaceX is one of the most highly-valued companies backed by venture capitalists in the US. The company has already launched 240 of its Starlink satellites into space and estimate to launch a total of 1500 satellites by the end of the year. Because of this, the company will be offering their most promising internet satellite business Starlink to the public with an IPO.
Starlink to Disrupt Industries
In the same way that Musk’s auto-company Tesla has the potential to disrupt the auto-industry in the future, Starlink is expected to disrupt the global internet business. The proposed satellite constellation will make high-speed internet services accessible all over the world beating fiber optic and cellular connections including faraway and remote areas such as rural America.
Legacy internet service providers such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are hastily preparing for 5G networks by building new infrastructure and spending money on millions of feet of cable to reinforce fiber infrastructure for the next two to three years. Any nonaction from these legacies would mean that LEO can and will enter the competition and fill the void.
Starlink IPO Timeline
SpaceX is in no rush to make concrete plans for the IPO. According to Musk, the business won’t be completely public until cargo and tourists can be launched to Mars. The IPO announcement happening this early when it is expected to happen in a few years shows the confidence SpaceX has with its current operations.
The Future of the LEO Network
The broader space economy is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2040 giving an idea of what the price of entering the space industry would be. And the fact that SpaceX is already confident in having enough capital to improve operations sheds a light into just how valuable Starlink has the potential to be. SpaceX has recently increased production methods in the past year and are able to manufacture 2-4 satellites a day meaning that mass satellite production isn’t too far-off.
There are still a few loose ends to tie with the proposed goals of Starlink with the estimated cost to build and launch satellites at $10 billion. Then there are technical issues such as determining a way to produce affordable user terminals that customers need to set up their broadband connections through the terminal’s complex antenna.