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Musk Says It Might Take $30 Billion To Keep Starlink In Orbit

BARCELONA, June 29 (Reuters) – Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said on Tuesday his Starlink venture is growing rapidly as he forecasts the total cost of investment in the satellite internet business at between. $20 billion to $30 billion

without revealing details He also said Starlink has “very important partnerships with the nation̵

7;s major telecom operators” that could help SpaceX’s division fill gaps in fifth-generation mobile and cellular networks.

The CEO and founder of Tesla Inc (ES.N) SpaceX, a rocket ship venture that is trying to colonize Mars, said the cost of investing before Starlink was fully cash-positive would be 5. -10 billion dollars

“It’s basically a lot,” Musk said in a video interview from California with Mobile World Congress, the telecom industry’s largest annual gathering, held in Barcelona.

Starlink is a group of low-orbit satellites with high-speed, low-latency connections. It has already offered a trial service and aims to cover the world. except the North and South Poles starting in August, Musk said.

It has more than 1,500 satellites and is operating in about ten countries. increase every month Musk forecasts total customer numbers to reach half a million over the next 12 months, from 69,000 now.

Some analysts question whether satellite internet is a viable business model. Because most of them are aimed at remote areas. There may not be enough people to pay the high taxes required to cover the investment costs. Read more

Musk said he is talking to potential partners as many countries want carriers to cover rural areas as a condition of 5G licenses.

He also said that if telecom operators had cell phone stations in remote areas, They can use Starlink to allow them to connect to their home network.

The rapid proliferation of wireless and terrestrial broadband, along with high prices, is a key factor in the destruction of previous low-Earth orbit satellite ventures.

Starlink is selling the terminal at half price, Musk said, adding that he expects to reduce the terminal cost from $1,000 to $300-500 over the next 12 months.

“If we don’t go bankrupt it will be great and we can move on from there,” he said.

Starlink faces competition from a number of players, including Kuiper, a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc, collapsed satellite operator OneWeb, aided by the British government and India’s Bharti Group.

Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee and Clara-Laeila Laudette, additional reporting by Hyunjoo Jin in Berkeley, California. Writing by Douglas Busvine Editing by Gareth Jones, Bernadette Baum and Barbara Lewis.

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