SpaceX Could Make Several Starlink Satellite Launches in 2019

Jeff Foust reported on twitter that Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX VP of Commercial Sales, said that SpaceX would try to set a new record for launches in 2019. This would mean having 22 or more launches because SpaceX had 21 successful missions in 2018. The statement was made at a launch panel discussion at the 2019 Smallsat Symposium.

Online speculation is that additional launches will be SpaceX launching their own Starlink Satellites and some unspecified military or spy satellites.

Having Starlink Operational Would Be Extremely Valuable

New York and Chicago pay $100 million per year to have a premium microwave data connection between the two cities. This shaves 5% of the latency time from pricing updates and order placement. This has a lot of value when a big stock starts making a rapid move up or down.

SpaceX Starlinks could save 30-50% of the latency time. This is because the speed of light is almost twice as fast in space as it is in a glass fiber. The value for the Starlink financial latency reduction should be even higher than the existing microwave connection.

There would be 190 combinations of pairs of the top 20 financial cities. There are 435 combinations of pairs of the top 30 financial cities. If the top $100 million per year was paid by the top 20 cities, then this would be $19 billion per year. If the premium internet pairing for the connections to 21 to 30 was worth $10 million per year then this would be another $2.45 billion per year. Even with a half-price discount, the total would still be $10 billion per year.

If financial companies and financial exchanges pay more for the larger latency saving then the Starlink network could generate more than $40 billion per year in revenue.

$40 billion per year is the revenue generated by Direct TV for AT&T.

The value of the time saving is not related to high-frequency stock trading. High-frequency stock trading involves trading machines in the next room with only nanoseconds of delay. Microseconds in stock trading are for computer programs for thousands of stock traders to get faster stock quotations and faster executions of trades when stocks have price fluctuations. It is like getting in line for a discounted price on Black Friday. You know the best prices are earlier in the day and there is a race for the best price.

Other industries may pay for premium pairing but there has to be a lot of money involved and value for shaving 30 milliseconds at some time in the year.