FCC approves SpaceX to deploy up to 1 million small antennas for Starlink internet network
- The FCC authorized SpaceX to begin rolling out as many as 1 million ground antenna for its Starlink internet project.
- Starlink is an ambitious network of about 12,000 satellites that SpaceX wants to use to provide high-speed internet to anywhere in the world.
- “It looks like a UFO on a stick,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said of these ground antenna in an interview earlier this month.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has authorized SpaceX to begin rolling out as many as 1 million of the ground antenna the company will need to connect users to its Starlink satellite internet network. Starlink is SpaceX’s plan to build an interconnected network, or “constellation,” of about 12,000 small satellites, to provide high-speed internet to anywhere in the world. The company has launched 360 Starlink satellites in the past year.
“It looks like a UFO on a stick,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in an interview earlier this month. “It’s very important that you don’t need a specialist to install. The goal is for … just two instructions and they can be done in either order: Point at sky, plug in.”
Starlink is intended for about the 3% “hardest to reach customers” for telecommunications companies, in rural areas where “5G is really not well-suited,” Musk said. SpaceX intends Starlink to have a high-speed connection for any users, with latency below 20 milliseconds.
Starlink competitor OneWeb may face bankruptcy
OneWeb, a SoftBank-backed competitor of Starlink, is also in the middle of launching its own global satellite constellation. But Bloomberg reported on Thursday that OneWeb is considering filing for bankruptcy, with the report saying the company is facing a cash crunch. OneWeb has raised $3.4 billion to to fund its satellite network, but CEO Adrián Steckel told CNBC in a February interview that the company “is always raising” money.
“We’re constantly raising capital,” Steckel said, just after the company’s second launch. “We’re not being public about what we’re raising. When the time comes we’ll make an announcement.”
“We just want to be in the ‘not bankrupt’ category, that’s our goal,” Musk added.
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