Elon Musk on Tuesday said SpaceX’s satellite internet network Starlink “recently” passed near 70,000 active users and expects fast-paced growth in the year ahead. “We are on our way to having a few hundred thousand users, possibly over 500,000 users within 12 months,” Musk said, speaking virtually at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain.
Starlink is the company’s capital-intensive project to build an interconnected internet network with thousands of satellites, known in the space industry as a constellation, designed to deliver high-speed internet to consumers anywhere on the planet. SpaceX first rolled out the service with a beta program for select consumers for $99 a month, and in the past year has sought regulatory approval to test the network inflight and expand the service to large moving vehicles, like ships and trucks. It’s now the world’s largest satellite constellation, with more than 1,500 Starlink satellites launched to orbit to date.
SpaceX last month touted that Starlink has received more than 500,000 orders and deposits so far to date, although those may not materialize into users. Starlink’s user base has grown, from about 10,000 users in February to Musk saying that this month it passed “the strategically notable number of 69,420 active users.”