With the extension of Starlink, SpaceX is taking aim at the satellite mobility providers

With the extension of Starlink, SpaceX is taking aim at the satellite mobility providers

SpaceX is requesting authorization from the Federal Communications Commission to attach moving vehicles to its increasingly increasing Starlink constellation, extending the broadband network beyond fixed homes and offices. The company is requesting a blanket license from the FCC, close to the one it does have for up to about a million end-user consumer Earth stations.

According to David Goldman, who serves as the SpaceX’s director in charge of the satellite policy, the Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM) devices is “electrically similar to its previously approved consumer terminals but has mountings that enable them to be mounted on cars, boats, as well as aircraft, that are appropriate for those environments,” according to a regulatory report. 

After deploying over 1,100 internet satellites with high-speed, SpaceX recently notified the FCC that it has over 10,000 Starlink consumers in the United States and overseas. As Elon Musk’s launch firm continues to raise large financing rounds to support its capital-intensive ambitions, the prospect of broadening into more markets would raise some eyebrows in satellite mobility sector.

According to Brad Grady, who works at the Northern Sky Research as a principal analyst satellite operators Inmarsat, SES, as well as Intelsat are some of those most likely to experience instability in the land-mobile industry.  Grady said that depending on the exact type factors as well as use cases, Inmarsat and the Iridium Communications’ mobile-satellites service (MSS) businesses may be disrupted, similar to how maritime goods migrated to very-small-aperture terminals (VSATs).

Early Starlink adoption is likely to have a greater effect on antenna maker Kymeta as well as other players in communications on the pause (COTP) market segment. “Currently, there isn’t a high-bandwidth/low latency form factor approach for that market segment that matches the Starlink terminal form factor,” Grady stated.

“Perhaps once [SES’ next-generation constellation] mPower, as well as their terminal segment, evolves in the next couple of months, another competitor will emerge, but the COTP sector, in my opinion, is a much simpler nut to crack.” All the other non-GEO high-throughput satellite (HTS) constellations have been expanding into new markets, and Grady claims that investors and sector already have “priced-in” Starlink as a competitor, possible partner, or solution as they brace for its eventual arrival.

Starlink is likely looking for opportunities at Tesla, Elon Musk’s electric vehicle and energy business, that makes cars that depend on the terrestrial telecom’s firms for connectivity. Last year, SpaceX requested permission from the FCC to evaluate Starlink services on the private planes and the ships that its missiles land on for recycle.


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