Investing in Space

SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet surpasses 400,000 subscribers globally

Key Points
  • Elon Musk's SpaceX told the Federal Communications Commission in a presentation last week that its Starlink satellite internet service now has over 400,000 subscribers around the world.
  • In March, the company said Starlink had about 250,000 subscribers, including consumers and enterprise customers.
  • The satellite network serves 36 countries so far and is aiming to add customers in most of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East next year.
A Starlink satellite terminal, also known as a dish, setup in front of an RV.
SpaceX

Elon Musk's SpaceX told federal regulators in a presentation last week that its Starlink satellite internet service now has over 400,000 subscribers around the world.

The disclosure indicates the company is steadily growing subscribers for the service, which began in October 2020. Two months ago, Starlink said it had about 250,000 subscribers. At the start of this year, it said it had about 145,000 subscribers. The figures include both individual consumers and businesses.

Starlink is SpaceX's network of satellites in low Earth orbit, designed to deliver high-speed internet anywhere on the globe. Through thousands of satellites, SpaceX is building a system to deliver faster connectivity across a wider coverage area than traditional broadband satellites.

SpaceX's presentation, made during a call with the Federal Communications Commission on May 19, noted that the Starlink service is active in 48 U.S. states. The satellite network is available in 36 countries so far and the the company is aiming to expand service to most of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East next year.

An availability map on SpaceX's Starlink website now shows only a handful of countries where the service is not listed as "coming soon:" Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba. China, Iran, North Korea. Russia, Syria, and Venezuela.

SpaceX has launched about 2,500 Starlink satellites to support its global network.

The company expanded its Starlink service options this year. Starlink's base service is $110 a month, excluding the $599 up-front cost for hardware. A premium option costs $500 per month, plus a $2,500 for hardware. The company also recently added a "portability" fee of $25 per month for users who relocate their satellite antenna, as well as a "Starlink for RVs" option that lets customers pause service on a month-to-month basis.

The company is also expanding into the inflight Wi-Fi market and signed deals with air carriers Hawaiian Airlines and JSX to add Starlink antennas on aircraft. Pending regulatory approval, SpaceX expects to begin delivering service to commercial aircraft in about a year.

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