1 Million Starlink Dishes

The primary drivers of SpaceX revenue is the rate that they can produce Starlink dishes and then sell the dishes and services to customers. They are at 150k per month now in late 2022 which is 1.8M per year but are increasing the speed of sales. September 25, 2022, Elon Musk tweeted that over 1 million dishes had been manufactured. Elon had said that 500,000 customers were signed up in early June, 2022. This means over 150,000 dishes per month on average for three months. SpaceX will end 2022 with over 1.5 million Starlink customers.

They would need to average 450k per month in 2023 to hit the targets in my forecast below. They would need to average 1.2 million dishes per month in 2024. The direct phone revenue is determined by how many cellphone customers choose to buy global satellite text and voice from T-mobile and any other new SpaceX cellphone partners. There are 110 million potential t-mobile customers and 5-10% will likely join different levels of global text and voice with no deadzones.

27 thoughts on “1 Million Starlink Dishes”

  1. I think there is also a near term business opportunity in financial data and analytics from the fact that Starlink internet can deliver data significantly faster than fiber because light travels faster in a vacuum than in fiber and because the routing is often more direct.

    This is a killer app that the financial industry can’t afford to ignore for data between distant financial markets.

    It’s not insignificant. SpaceX could effectively displace Bloomberg and competitors if it got into the business. Or they could make billions just by making a deal with an existing player and not bother developing a product themselves.

    • I think Musk wants to sell this to regular users directly, to gain public good will and some traction with them.

      Not that corporate fat cats won’t use it and ask for a special version of it with symmetrical data links, but it seems they want it not to be a luxury for the super rich only.

      It’s much easier to hate on something the majority doesn’t know and use, and also get it banned by a politician whim.

    • Starlink SHOULD decrease latency as they get their laser interlinks working.

      But that’d mostly be of value for VERY high speed automated machine trading, where milliseconds can sometimes count.

      For such cases, I’d expect trading companies to have already put their automatic trading computers as close as possible to the machines that resolve trades, rather than hundreds of miles away where Starlink might make a difference.

  2. It is awesome that starlink is growing… But I am still on a waiting list… Why? Don’t know no information available. Just wish Elon would stop trying to save other countries and start getting starlink to work on the united states

      • A description that I recall reading said that SpaceX would be accepting requests for Starlink service first come first served within each “service area” (my term, I don’t recall what term they used), so that the number of customers does not overload the capacity of the satellites to serve the area. As more satellites are added, the capacity of those “service areas” will increase (or maybe it is that the size of the “service areas” will decrease — same effect), allowing the next people on the waiting list in that area to be accepted.

        This can result in a person who wants Starlink service being literally next door to a person who has Starlink service, but that first person gets put on the waiting list because, before he applied for service, enough other people in the area had already been accepted that they reached the current capacity of that area. As more satellites are added, the capacity will grow, allowing some more people in the area to be accepted, presumably in the order in which they applied.

        A bit frustrating for the people on the waiting list, but necessary to prevent overloading so the promised speed can be provided.

      • Believe me it was worth the wait 1 1/2 years for me. Have mine 2 months installed myself. I’m 77 have a 2 story house simple to install and being able to finally ditch my Verizon DSL never ever got over 6 mb .Imy in nervana. I live in south Jersey.

  3. Starlink is risky. In order to have revenues in the $billions Starlink need customers in the millions. Problem is that most rural people are dirt poor. Starlink will have to sell upgraded services. For instance, they could sell cell tower links to cell phone companies to service rural areas.

    • I am one of those rural poor that Starlink would be great for. But it’s far too expensive right now. It would need to nearly halve in price to be a value proposition. And I’m in a developed economy. Others will have no chance of being able to pay for it.

      • Share it with a neighbor and split the cost. It is meant for people that really near internet access and have no cheaper alternative.

        • I don’t think it is meant for people with absolutely no alternative. The high price is a temporary solution to keep the service from getting congested in the early stages, not a fundamental design feature. As the constellation grows and the laser links get added (assuming they still plan on doing that) the prices are likely to drop. They only have 2,300 satellites out of a planned 12,000, and have already lowered prices in several poorer countries.

      • Phase array antennas are expensive to build Perhaps as Starlink builds millions of dishes a month they will be able to ride the cost curve down.

          • Makes sense: Eat the loss up front to drive sales, and make it up on service; then, bring down the cost over time with economies of scale. SOP for a new product segment in the tech field.

      • Sublet your connection to your neighbors, to pay for it. Mind you, the TOS require you to clear doing this with Starlink first, they might want you to share the revenue.

      • Too expensive + internet not stable If a tree or something cover the North side area. Starlink Router and Dish need to reboot every month, or else signal will drop like crazy.

        Price too too too expensive compare to competitive plus since they use satellite, internet not stable

        • Not my user experience. I get pretty good uplink time, only suspended once by a strong summer storm with dense rain, hail and sleet.

          The need of rebooting every month, I hadn’t seen the need. Because I don’t remain in the place using Starlink that long. If I saw the quality getting worse gradually, I’d try rebooting it anyway.

    • Rural poor tend to live in rural villages rather than widely dispersed remote farms (i.e. they don’t own any or at least enough land to get widely separated from other potential users), so WiFi sharing should commonly be possible.

      If StarLink wants to get business in such areas, they’ll need to authorize a shared WiFi model. Probably even enable it by arranging for 3rd parties to offer a solar powered/battery-backed/subscription-controlled-access StarLink data and device charging station kit.

  4. I’ve got mine last August for a ranch house of mine. I’ve had this property for some years, but it was underdeveloped/under-visited due to lack of electricity and Internet. Having fixed the first, it was time to fix the second, so I ordered it.

    It arrived quickly and worked for some days and then it broke down, apparently due to some cable damage. I did move the Starlink to different locations (testing the new toy), and probably did that myself.

    Asked customer service and they did replace it with another, given it was brand new and got it a few days later. Easy peasy.

    So far it works like a charm and I can do full remote work while watching the sky and mountains, where previously it was impossible. Not even cell phone gets here.

      • It’s variable, but I generally get above 100 Mbps. That’s on the benchmarks.

        I can get 2 streaming TVs up and running at once without problem, besides of remote desktop.

        Nevertheless some actual data downloads can show less than that. I tried with Steam games and they seemingly throttle their download speeds to 4-8 MB per second, but that’s probably on the cloud side.

        The uptime is pretty much 100%, only impacted by strong storms, and I mean strong ones. But it really depends on finding a good open sky spot. Any tree or obstruction will create dents on the uptime.

        The antenna requires an open sky window of about 110 degrees, and it self orients to whatever region it detects better service from. I just placed it over a roof without obstructions and I have no interrupts at all.

        • The loss of service due to trees seems like something that may get better in some areas as there are more satellites up there. If signal is lost in a certain area of the sky (especially if the software learns to recognize that such happens), it’ll be able to switch to a different satellite sooner.
          I’d think that’d particularly get better the further North one is, as there’ll be more satellites overhead per area. I know they’ve had limited service up North – but maybe that’s because they’ve relied on downlinks to ground connection sites, and haven’t gotten those set up in the North? As they get their 2nd gen sats with laser interconnects going, that issue should be much reduced and maybe they’ll automatically get good coverage in the North?

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