According to CNBC, SpaceX is one step closer to offering internet access from the stars.
The Federal Communications Commission recently authorized the company to roll out up to 1 million ground antennae needed to connect users to the Starlink constellation. According to the license needed for these antennae, each one is a little under 19 inches wide.
Aside from moving the constellation closer to becoming operational, especially for the three percent of users that aren’t easily accessible to telecoms companies, the antennae are easy to implement.
“It’s very important that you don’t need a specialist to install,” SpaceX owner Elon Musk told CNBC. “The goal is for … just two instructions and they can be done in either order: Point at sky, plug in.”
As previously reported, SpaceX hopes to have the constellation up and running by June of this year. The full constellation will be composed of 420,000 satellites, but only 800 are needed in orbit to offer moderate internet to users. The company anticipates to have up to 1,500 satellites in orbit by the end of this year.
Choking Out Competitors
As the Starlink constellation grows, so does SpaceX’s dominance in the market.
CNBC says that competitors, including OneWeb are stumbling behind Musk’s company. OneWeb is in the middle of launching its own global satellite constellation, but simultaneously thinking about filing for bankruptcy due to a “cash crunch.” However, the company has already raised $3.4 billion to fund its satellite network, and CEO Adrian Steckel said that it’s “always raising money.”
“We’re constantly raising capital,” Steckel told CNBC earlier this year. “We’re not being public about what we’re raising. When the time comes we’ll make an announcement.”
Meanwhile, SpaceX has raised roughly $500 million this year. Musk is confident in the company’s work and financial position, saying “there are ‘zero’ similar satellite efforts ‘that didn’t go bankrupt,’ referring to companies that fell short of building networks in the early 2000s,” CNBC said.