SpaceX COO and Chairman Gwynne Shotwell said the company has secured more than half a million pre-orders for Starlink satellite internet in the past nine months.
Several months after SpaceX began phasing out Starlink Internet to potential customers on New Zealand’s North Island, the service is now open nationwide.
In the wake of confirmation that Starlink’s beta program has grown from around 70,000 to 90,000+ users in a single month, New Zealand’s full welcome is just the last step in the slow march but regular from SpaceX to a ready-to-use Internet available anywhere on Earth. In the same submission to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), SpaceX also revealed that Starlink currently serves customers in 12 countries: likely the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands and Chile.
However, in each of those countries, SpaceX generally followed a careful deployment schedule to verify overall performance – as well as the functionality of the custom ground stations in each country – before opening Starlink to beta testers in each country. New Zealand is now the last country to cross this regional firewall.
Less than a month after SpaceX’s FCC filing revealed an increase of 90,000 beta users of Starlink, COO and President Gwynne Shotwell revealed that Starlink had added approximately 10,000 more active users over the years. last few weeks. More importantly, another comment from Shotwell in the same forum presentation strongly implies that SpaceX has at least 500,000 additional Starlink beta pre-orders for a total of around 600,000 potential customers as of mid-August 2021.
If SpaceX can convert all of those pre-orders into active users over the next six months, and 500,000 (~ 85%) become long-term customers, the company could effectively secure nearly $ 1 billion in Starlink revenue over the course of the years. Next 18 months. Importantly, the 600,000 preorders (and 100,000 customers) that Starlink has secured in the past nine months have been for services that SpaceX has made clear are still in beta – with all the reliability issues and software / hardware bugs. that this implies.
Likely before the end of 2021, SpaceX will have more than 1,500 operational Starlink satellites in low Earth orbit, allowing virtually uninterrupted coverage of the populated surface (excluding the polar regions). Already, more than 1,400 of these ~ 260 kg (~ 575 lb) rectangular spacecraft have reached operational orbit and have likely joined the rest of the constellation to provide the Internet to ~ 100,000 active Starlink users. It’s unclear how long it will take SpaceX to refine Starlink’s hardware and software into a truly consumer-ready product and service, but it’s safe to say the constellation as a whole has never looked so good. ready.