SpaceX’s Plan to Spin-Off Starlink, and What That Means for the Future of the Internet

Published on February 14, 2020

Reports are starting to surface stating that SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation) may be considering spinning off Starlink, a satellite constellation constructed by SpaceX, as its own publicly-traded company.

Starlink is the right kind of business that we can go ahead and take public.

Gwynne Shotwell, in a meeting with investors.

It makes a lot of sense for SpaceX to spin-off Starlink. The internet is in demand now more than ever, yet still half of the global population is offline. The first company that is able to provide low cost, high speed, low latency internet service, on a truly global scale will be in a position to make a fortune.

Because of the implication of launching such a network, taking a company like Starlink public will instantly attract hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars from investors. This will rapidly give Starlink the funding it needs to continue to innovate in advanced satellite communications technologies.

Starlink is a new way of providing an internet connection to users and connected devices

The internet is typically delivered to users by either a land-line, cellular, or satellite connection. As the name suggests, a land-line connection relies on an infrastructure of either buried or overhead cables, creating a physical link between the internet user and the closest internet backbone connection. A cellular tower usually connects to the internet in this manner, but it connects the end-users with radio waves extending in about 15-mile radius of the cell tower.

Traditionally, satellite internet connections have relied on very large and expensive satellites in geostationary orbit (always in the same position relative to earth’s surface). This type of satellite has to be very far away, and this fact contributes heavily to satellite internet’s reputation for slow download speeds and high connection latency. 

Starlink is going to change everything

Instead of a handful of old, slow satellites in geostationary orbit, Starlink will have thousands of tiny, modern satellites in low earth orbit. These satellites will be equipped with advanced, cutting edge communications technologies, and will constantly maintain several connections to each other and to devices on the ground. Using this revolutionary new network topology, Starlink will be able to provide a higher speed and a lower latency internet connection than any other communications implementation, including fibre optic undersea cables.

What does this mean for the future of the internet?

[The service will] be less than what you are paying now for about five to ten times the speed you are getting.

Gwynne Shotwell, CEO – SpaceX

It means the internet is going to get a lot faster, and much more accessible. It means that bandwidth costs will fall dramatically. It means that every device, no matter where it is on the planet earth, can connect to the same high speed, low latency, and most importantly, low-cost network.

I predict that Starlink will have a similar fate as GPS. It will be something that cost a whole lot of money to design, build, test, launch, and maintain, but once the contracts are signed and everything starts paying for itself, it’s in the operators best interest to allow access to the platform for free (Source).

If Starlink were to adopt this business model, they could make another fortune off of advertising contracts with companies wanting to sell to Starlink customers, and being the first company with a truly global customer base, that puts Starlink in a unique and attractive position.

Should I invest in Starlink?

Absolutely. The Starlink IPO is going to create millionaires. Just look at Elon Musk’s track record. PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla all successfully disrupted the hardest industries to even get into.

The internet is even more in demand than those other industries. Starlink’s stock price is going to dramatically increase from the moment it goes on sale (Source).

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