SpaceX Starlink Will Cover World With 300 Mbps and Sub-20 millisecond Latency Coverage in 2021

Starlink has opened preorders for service expected to be available in the second half of 2021. Elon Musk expects Starlink to achieve 16ms to 19ms by the summer of 2021. SpaceX will reach 10 gigabits per second download speeds eventually.

For $499, Starlink users get a terminal package to communicate with the constellation. Beta participants pay $99 per month, though SpaceX warns that service may not be uninterrupted given the satellite deployment is still a work-in-progress. There is about $95 of shipping handling and taxes as well.

SpaceX will start by servicing all rural areas and lower density sub-urban areas.

If SpaceX Starlink serves 3% of the world’s 4.6 billion internet users then they will have 130 million customers. This would be $13 billion per month in revenue. Elon talked about [initially] targeting the 3-4% of the hardest to reach potential customers.

The US has about 60 million people in rural areas. These are places with less than 2500 people in one area. Elon is talking about 10 million people in hard to serve areas in the US or 100 million people around the world. This would be $1 billion per month in the US or $10 billion per month around the world. This could also serve people on planes, trains, ships and buses.

Suburban neighborhoods are less dense than urban ones. The median US suburban neighborhood is fairly dense, housing approximately 1,800 to 2,000 people per square mile. New development in the US has about 6 houses per acre. If each household has 2 people per house then this is 12 people per acre.


One square mile is equal to 2.59 square kilometers. The lowest density on this map is 1370 people per square mile. This would likely qualify as under the medium density threshold. Forty people or less per square kilometer is definitely rural.

Fivethirtyeight survey: Residents of ZIP codes with more than 2,213 households per square mile typically described their area as urban. Residents of neighborhoods with 102 to 2,213 households per square mile typically called their area suburban. In ZIP codes with fewer than 102 households per square mile, residents typically said they lived in a rural area. The density cutoff between urban and suburban — 2,213 households per square mile — is roughly equal to the density of ZIP codes 22046 (Falls Church in Northern Virginia); 91367 (Woodland Hills in California’s San Fernando Valley); and 07666 (Teaneck, New Jersey).

You can perform a search on google to get the population density for your zip code or any other zip code. (people per square mile 99999).

High urban density should be able to economically support fiber to the home service. The rural and some suburban areas would use SpaceX Starlink.

Handling the suburbs will likely require Starlink to have 4000 to 12000 satellites deployed. SpaceX eventually plans 42,000 Starlink satellites. The world has 4-5 million cell towers. China has 1.9 million cell towers and the US has about 330,000 cell towers.

Current Satellite Internet and Satellite TV Markets

Starlink will clearly crush the existing satellite internet providers. There is about 4 billion in annual revenue for those companies. There are about 2 million subscribers for satellite internet. Hughes Satellite has about 1.3 million subscribers. SpaceX already has six times faster download speed than the current satellite internet and is faster than upgraded satellites to be launched later in 2021. SpaceX at 300 mbps will have three times the speed of upgraded geosync satellite internet. SpaceX starlink satellites are physically forty times closer. This enables the 30-40X improvement in latency.

EchoStar has noted that its North American capacity is currently pretty full, but the company is working on launching its next-generation Jupiter 3 satellite in 2021, which will significantly increase capacity and accommodate internet speeds up to 100 mbps. ViaSat is also planning to launch its next-generation satellite, ViaSat-3, in the 2021 time frame.

EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS) financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2020 were :

Three Months Ended December 31, 2020 Financial Highlights:

Consolidated revenues of $489.3 million.
Net loss from continuing operations of $2.6 million, consolidated net income attributable to EchoStar common stock of $0.1 million, and diluted earnings per share of $0.01.
Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $166.7 million (see discussion and the reconciliation of GAAP to this non-GAAP measure below).

Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2020 Financial Highlights:

Consolidated revenues of $1.9 billion.
Net loss from continuing operations of $52 million, consolidated net loss attributable to EchoStar common stock of $40 million, and diluted loss per share of $(0.41).
Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $642.9 million (see discussion and the reconciliation of GAAP to this non-GAAP measure below).

Starlink could also get into Satellite TV. Starlink would need to pay for content.

HughesNet plans start at $59.99 per month and go up to $150.00 per month, not including modem lease ($14.99 per month). All HughesNet plans offer the same 25 Mbps speeds but different amounts of full-speed monthly data. Current satellite internet has an average latency of 638 milliseconds.

Is HughesNet unlimited internet?
HughesNet Internet is technically unlimited internet, but each plan has a limited amount of full-speed (25 Mbps) data. Once you reach your data allotment (which ranges from 10 GB to 50 GB per month), you can continue to access data without incurring overage fees, but it will be at much slower speeds (1–3 Mbps).

In 2020, DirecTV had 13.6 million pay-TV subscribers in the United States. DirectTV made about $30 billion in revenue and about $4 billion in profit.

DISH network had $15 billion in 2020 revenue. They had 15% margin. They made about $1.8 billion in net income. Dish Network had about 10 million subscribers.

SOURCES – Starlink, Census.gov, Fivethirtyeight, Dish Network, Motley Fool, Hughes Satellite
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com