For Elon Musk and Starlink, 2022 will remain special. If the billionaire has particularly distinguished himself in recent months with his incredible takeover of Twitter, he has also promoted his Starlink satellite Internet network extensively, notably during the war in Ukraine and most recently during demonstrations in Iran.
As a result, the Internet traffic of the SpaceX subsidiary exploded in 2022 to the point of increasing 15-fold in a year, according to an analysis by Cloudflare, an American company that specializes in infrastructure and services for the Internet. “Starlink is not yet available worldwide, but traffic is growing. In Ukraine, Starlink provided backup internet connectivity during the Russian invasion. After the launch of the service in Romania, traffic increased dramatically – in May it was low, and in the United States, traffic grew steadily throughout the year, ”notes Cloudflare.
One million customers worldwide, 10,000 in France
Today, Starlink has over a million customers, up from 100,000 in August 2021. Thus, in three months, the satellite network gained 300,000 subscribers, as the company announced 700,000 subscribers in September. She also indicated that 700,000 people are on the waiting list. On this occasion, the American company also disclosed the number of its customers in Europe for the first time. Starlink then said it has 75,000 subscribers in the Old Continent, including 6,500 in France, where the service has been available since May 2021. Now a subsidiary of SpaceX is claiming 10,000 in the French market.
In France, the rollout of this satellite internet proposal this year was hampered by the Council of State’s decision to strip Starlink of frequencies in France in April following the confirmation of an appeal filed by environmental associations. After two months, the American company was finally allowed to use the frequencies again. According to the Electronic Communications Regulatory Authority (Arcep), Elon Musk’s service is especially useful for developing communications in white areas or areas poorly served by fiber optic networks.
Recall that the Starlink network is based on hundreds of satellites moving around the Earth in low orbit. This requires hardware sold for €450, as well as a €50 per month subscription to take advantage of speeds that range from 20 to 200 Mbps, which is more efficient than a traditional ADSL network. To date, SpaceX has deployed more than 3,000 satellites in low orbit to “rebuild the Internet in space.” SpaceX plans to launch a total of 12,000 Starlink satellites into orbit by 2025. But Elon Musk plans to launch 30,000 more to reach a total of 42,000 satellites and allow him to flood the world with high-speed internet connectivity.