In 2022, the Starlink satellite Internet service from SpaceX, founded by Elon Musk, surprised the stock exchange world with innovative revenue indicators. According to The Wall Street Journal, Starlink earned USD 1.4 billion last year, which is a significant increase compared to the previous year with revenue of “only” USD 222 million. This success has allowed Starlink to become one of the most promising fields of business for SpaceX.
However, this impressive income disappointed Elon Musk, who in 2015 promised his investors that Starlink would be able to earn an operating profit of USD 7 billion in 2022 and generate more than USD 12 billion in total revenue. WSJ reports reveal a huge deviation from these forecasts.
Additionally, Starlink has slowed down in recruiting new customers. Instead of the expected 20 million active subscribers by the end of 2022, only about one million customers have connected to Starlink. This situation is a big disappointment for Musk, who is hoping for a much greater demand for his services and a faster expansion of his subscriber base.
Unlucky streak for Starlink
Additional problems for Starlink arose last year when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) expressed doubt about the compliance of the service with the requirements of the program. Initially, Starlink received grant funds in the amount of USD 885.5 million, but the FCC later canceled this decision, claiming that the service did not meet their requirements.
FCC Chairwoman, Jessica Rosenworcel, explains this decision by noting that consumers deserve reliable and affordable high-speed internet, and that the FCC cannot subsidize companies that do not meet these requirements. This situation created additional pressure on Starlink and raised doubts about its trust.
Criticism of Elon Musk
It is worth noting that recently, Elon Musk was criticized for refusing to provide Starlink satellite communications to support Ukraine in the struggle for the liberation of its territories occupied by Russia. This situation caused widespread outrage and raised questions about the political influence and moral aspects of SpaceX’s activities.
To date, SpaceX has about 4,200 Starlink satellites located in low Earth orbit, and provides its services in 60 countries. The company is also trying to attract new customers by offering users the opportunity to purchase installation kits at stores such as Home Depot and Best Buy.
Gwynne Shotwell, co-founder of SpaceX with Elon Musk, expressed hope that Starlink would continue to grow and generate more revenue by the end of 2023. However, given the number of challenges and difficulties that Starlink faces, this goal may not be as easy to achieve as it initially seemed.
Earlier, we reported on how Elon Musk spoke out against the FAA in the investigation of the Starship crash.
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