Starshield, Elon Musk’s secret weapon to (finally) make money with Starlink – Business AM

In early December, SpaceX presented a new system: Starshield. Which finally brings some money into the coffers.

Why is this important?

By Elon Musk’s own admission, Starlink is losing money. With Starshield, which is based on the same technology, the multi-billionaire may have found a way to raise the bar.

In the news : Starshield, SpaceX’s new cash cow?

  • asked by Business Insiderseveral analysts believe that Starshield was essentially designed to allow SpaceX to monetize Starlink.
  • Because for now, Starlink does Loose money to SpaceX… and therefore to Elon Musk.

The detail : contract with the US government.

  • While SpaceX has yet to release much information about Starshield, the system is known to rely on Starlink technology. And that it is for public use only.
    • Starshield aims to provide a “secure satellite network for US government entities” that supports “national security efforts”.
    • Specifically, SpaceX satellites will have three applications for Washington:
      • Better observe the globe and the activity in each country.
      • Secure communication.
      • Customize “payload” (for example, for intelligence or counterintelligence).
  • According to analysts, Starshield will allow Starlink to take advantage of “alternative revenue streams”.
  • The money that SpaceX will make via Starshield is still quite difficult to estimate.
    • However, Brad Grady, director of research at consultancy Northern Sky Research, notes that providing satellite connectivity to governments and the military is “a growing opportunity” expected to be worth more than $90 billion over the course of the year. the next decade.

As it stands, Starlink is not viable

The context : SpaceX will need it.

  • Last October, Elon Musk acknowledged that Starlink was “still losing money”.
    • Observations made in connection with the file concerning the dispatch of Starlink terminals to Ukraine. He had specified that SpaceX burned approx 20 million dollars a month by rendering service to the country at war.
    • At the same time, the head of SpaceX had complained about the lack of support from Washington. He had even threatened to cut Starlink in Ukraine before changing his mind.
  • With just over a million users worldwide, Starlink is far from viable. It would take five to ten times more, according to Bill Ray, a vice president analyst at management consulting firm Gartner.
  • Since Starlink may not reach those numbers anytime soon, it has to rely on government and military contracts to weather the storm. Hence the insertion of Starshield.

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