HomeWinBuzzer NewsStarlink Eyes Profitability in 2024 with Over 6,300 Satellites Launched

Starlink Eyes Profitability in 2024 with Over 6,300 Satellites Launched

Starlink's subscriber base now includes about 50,000 mobility, enterprise, and government users, excluding those supporting Ukraine.

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SpaceX has launched over 6,300 satellites since May 2019, significantly advancing its goal to provide global internet coverage. The most recent satellites were deployed last week, as part of the company's aggressive expansion strategy. Leveraging reusable Falcon 9 rockets, SpaceX has managed to reduce launch costs, a key factor in the economic viability of the Starlink project.

Approaching Profitability and Expanding Market Presence

Research firm Quilty Space reports that Starlink is nearing profitability for the first time since its inception. With a customer base of nearly three million across 75 countries, Starlink is projected to generate $6.6 billion in revenue this year, with an estimated free cash flow of $600 million.
 
Chris Quilty, co-founder of Quilty Space, emphasized the underestimation of SpaceX's launch frequency and its substantial market influence. The company's comprehensive control over satellite design and manufacturing has been essential in reducing costs, aiding its path to profitability.
 

Innovations and Strategic Developments

SpaceX has ceased subsidizing its proprietary user terminals in the U.S., signaling confidence in Starlink's long-term financial health. The anticipated operational status of the Starship rocket is set to enhance Starlink's service offerings. This new launch vehicle will allow for the deployment of heavier satellites that can provide direct-to-cell connections, potentially eliminating the need for user terminals and reducing costs for both the company and consumers. This development could broaden the service's applications beyond fixed residential locations.
  

Economic Indicators and Future Projections

Starlink's EBITDA is expected to reach $3.8 billion in 2024, a significant rise from a negative $128 million in 2022. The service primarily targets middle and upper-income markets, described as a “rich world service.” The subscriber base includes about 50,000 mobility, enterprise, and government users, not counting those supporting Ukraine. The cost of the first-generation V1 satellites was around $200,000 each, while the latest V2 mini version costs approximately $800,000.

The upcoming V3 satellite, expected to weigh 1,500 kilograms, will cost about $1.2 million. Approximately 3,000 of SpaceX's 13,000 employees are dedicated to the Starlink project. The company's expertise in high-volume production and extensive vertical integration has been crucial in maintaining lower costs, despite the increased capabilities and associated costs of newer satellites.
 

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.