(ORDO NEWS) — February 26, Minister of Digital Information of Ukraine Mikhail Fedorov tweeted to Elon Musk with the following words: “While you are trying to colonize Mars, Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine!
While your rockets are successfully landing from space, Russian rockets are attacking the citizens of Ukraine! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and appeal to sane Russians to stop.”
In response, the world’s richest man wrote: “Starlink is now activated in Ukraine, ground terminals providing access to it are already on their way.”
Many aspects of what happened are not entirely clear in technical terms. Obviously, Starlink terminals will be sent to Ukraine for free, since their market value ($499 apiece) is unlikely to allow them to become popular in this country.
It is also not entirely clear whether they intend to charge a fee for the provision of services themselves (probably, at least at first, they will not).
In addition, the motive for Mikhail Fedorov’s appeal is not quite obvious either. In Ukraine, there is no shortage of Internet providers, and, despite the availability of appropriate technical capabilities, the Russian military there does not block either the Internet or even cellular communications (which is generally atypical, since it contradicts the norms of warfare in our era). How the limited number of Starlink terminals will help Ukrainians in such a situation is unclear.
It should be noted that today the Starlink project, although it has the largest satellite constellation in the world, is extremely far from full deployment.
So far, less than two thousand satellites have been deployed out of the planned several tens of thousands. In general, SpaceX sees Starlink as a key source of its funding for the coming years: by 2025, the company expects to receive $ 30 billion in revenue from it per year.
How realistic this is is not yet known. In most regions of the planet, Internet tariffs are lower than Starlink’s predicted tariffs. In addition, alternative types of connection do not require such expensive terminals from the user, which still need to be placed on the street in some way.
At the same time, in the US, where Internet tariffs are high and detached houses predominate in residential development, this solution looks quite competitive.
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