Starlink is the world’s first and largest satellite constellation system designed to offer global internet coverage. Its primary objective is to deliver internet access to areas, especially rural ones, where high-speed internet is scarce and where deploying traditional solutions like fibre optics is expensive.
Starlink operates as a division of SpaceX, a company that specialises in advanced space transportation by designing, manufacturing, and launching rockets and spacecraft. Founded in 2002 by the renowned entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX stands at the forefront of space innovation.
Can you invest in Starlink?
No, investors cannot buy Starlink stock. Starlink is not a publicly-listed company and has no plans to do so in the near future. However, there are plans to list the company. Nevertheless, there is no official date for this listing. According to the company, it will have an IPO when its cash flow is more predictable, which can happen in the next couple of years.
Alternatives to a Starlink investment
Since Starlink is not yet a publicly traded company, you cannot invest in it. Nevertheless, there are other alternatives for investment if you want to get exposure to the satellite internet provider´s market.
Some examples of investment possibilities are as follows:
- Other companies which operate in the same market and are publicly traded companies, like Viasat;
- Invest in the biggest companies worldwide which are investing in this market, like Amazon;
- Exchange-traded funds (ETF) that invest in companies with exposure to this market. An example of this is an ETF managed by ARK Invest, whose ticker symbol is ARKX.
Investment Platforms to buy Stocks
|Broker||US stock/ETF fee||Minimum Deposit||Available Countries|
|eToro||$0 (other fees apply)||$10||Worldwide – exceptions apply|
|Saxo Bank||From $1 (other fees apply)||$0||Worldwide – exceptions apply|
|Interactive brokers||0$ per share for US residents. Up to $0.0035 per share (min $0.35) for international investors||$0||Worldwide – exceptions apply|
Products and costs of Starlink solutions
There are 3 Starlink solutions, which are detailed below:
- Residential: in this case, this division of SpaceX offers reliable high-speed internet at a minimum price of 120 USD, depending on the type of plan you want to contract. Additionally, you should also invest in the recommended hardware, which is a one-off cost of about 599 USD;
- Roam: this kind of solution is highly recommended for campers and international travelers. Through this plan, you can access high-speed internet in several locations. The price of this plan depends on the geographical coverage you are interested in, varying from 150 USD to 250 USD per month;
- Boats: the third solution offered by Starlink enables access to high-speed internet on the water. The price of the plans offered in this case varies from 250 USD to 5,000 USD per month. You should also count on a one-off additional cost of nearly 2,500 USD for hardware.
Coverage of Starlink solutions
Starlink provides internet services to over 1 million active customers across 60 countries. However, it has a significant presence in the US, ranking as the country’s third-largest satellite internet service provider.
Regarding speed, according to the speed-tracking site Ookla, which analysed Starlink’s internet performance in the US during the first quarter of 2023, the average download speed was 67Mbps. This speed is notably higher compared to other satellite internet providers in the market. However, Starlink’s average speed is significantly lower compared to other competitors in the broader fixed broadband category.
The launch of Starlink satellites by SpaceX commenced in 2019, with the total number of operational satellites surpassing 4,200 by 2023.
Most recently, on Friday, October 13, Starlink successfully deployed 22 new satellites into low-Earth orbit.
In the years ahead, Elon Musk’s goal is to send more than 42,000 additional satellites into space. Furthermore, as a long-term ambition, Starlink aims to provide its clients with download speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
In terms of financial data, specifically revenues, Starlink generated about 1.4 billion dollars in 2022, representing more than six times the revenue generated in the previous year. However, these figures are significantly lower than the projections outlined in a company presentation in 2015, which anticipated a total revenue of $12 billion by 2022.
The long-term goal is to achieve an annual revenue of $30 billion.
Starlink has some competitors in the internet satellite market, including:
- Hughes Net;
- Kuiper Systems;
- NBN Sky muster
Recently, Amazon, through its subsidiary Kuiper Systems, initiated its operations in this market. It launched 2 satellites into orbit to test its satellite-internet service.
Amazon plans to invest over $10 billion in this sector in the coming years and aims to deploy 3,236 satellites into orbit.