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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

SpaceX’s ambitious Starlink communications project is smashing all expectations and every record, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

 

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Starlink, the satellite internet unit of Elon Musk’s SpaceX which aims to connect the other 4 billion people on the planet who don’t have any internet connectivity with superfast internet, has just announced that they expect to be able to provide “continuous global coverage by around September” but will then need to seek regulatory approvals for the countries it wants to operate in – as it did with the US – said its president Gwynne Shotwel.

 

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“We’ve successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like September timeframe,” she told a Macquarie Group technology conference via webcast. “But then we have regulatory work to go into every country and get approved to provide telecoms services.”

 

My Future of Communications keynote, by Matthew Griffin

 

Starlink, which has said it plans to deploy 12,000 satellites in total at a cost of roughly $10 billion, currently offers beta services in 11 countries, Shotwel said.

 

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In May, Elon Musk said the Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) satellite network had received more than 500,000 pre-orders for its internet service and anticipates no technical problems meeting demand.

The US Federal Communications Commission this year approved SpaceX’s plan to deploy some Starlink satellites at a lower earth orbit than planned to provide high-speed broadband internet services to people who currently lack access.

 

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Starlink is one of a growing number of makers of small satellites that also includes Amazon’s Kuiper, Britain’s OneWeb, venture capital-backed Planet, and Raytheon’s Blue Canyon Technologies. But while most of these competitors are interested in selling connectivity in Starlink’s case Musk’s using the project to fund his much grander project – colonising Mars.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Discovery, RT, Viacom, and WIRED, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Aon, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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