SpaceX's Starlink has exponentially grown its subscriber base worldwide this year. The network of thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit, providing high-speed internet anywhere globally, has seen a 275% increase in subs since January.
CNBC noted that the Elon Musk-owned company presented the new figures to the Federal Communications Commission in a presentation on May 19. Starlink had 145k subscribers at the beginning of the year. By March, it was 250k, and as of this month, it had 400k.
Last week, SpaceX launched a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with 53 more Starlink internet satellites into orbit. The satellites will expand the company's constellation of more than 2.5k, which provides high-speed internet worldwide. Coverage is set to expand across North America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East by the end of the year, opening the doors for the company to add even more subs.
The 400k subs are spread across 48 U.S. states and dozens of countries (36 in total). Starlink's website shows much of the U.S. and Europe have service, but plenty of places worldwide are on a "waitlist."
Starlink has also inked deals with two carriers to provide inflight Wi-Fi, which could dramatically increase internet speeds on planes from the dial-up-like speeds that make remote work near impossible.
High-speed internet from space is great, but is it a profitable business? Not yet...
So Starlink now has 400,000 subs= $530M/yr revenue.— Stanphyl Capital (@StanphylCap) May 25, 2022
It plans 30,000 satellites @ $400,000 each & lasting 5 years.
That means it needs $2.4B annual revenue just to break even on satellites. Let's add $500M/yr ground systems + $500M payroll = $3.4B/yr revenue just to BREAK EVEN.
Meanwhile, Russia has been trying to jam the internet service as it's being used across Ukraine. Also, Chinese scientists are developing ways to destroy the global network.