Eight of the satellites will be from companies building a global Internet of Things (IoT) by revolutionizing satellite communications.
Most of today’s IoT devices, such as smart meters and agricultural sensors, rely on Wi-Fi or cellular signals, leaving remote areas, farms, and vast expanses of the world’s oceans without connectivity.
The new satellites will let shippers track assets at sea, farmers to check crops, or governments monitor bridges and infrastructure at far lower cost.
Internet of Things space start-ups are planning to lhave constellations of between 60 and 100 satellites. Together with a handful of ground stations, these should eventually get latencies down to about every 15 or 30 minutes. Internet of Things usually only need daily updates.
SpaceX will get experience releasing large numbers of satellites. This will be needed for the SpaceX Starlink internet network. The Starlink system will have revenue providing premium internet connections for financial centers. There will also be internet access fees. Elon Musk has the goal of handling half of the internet’s traffic. Network access fees for half of the internet would be worth billions of dollars every year.