Musk is currently looking for allies in the telecommunications sector: two large national telecommunications providers have already entered into partnerships and he is in talks with several others. But he can’t name any names yet. The satellite system for data backhaul is of interest to telecommunications providers – this is how the antenna stations are connected to the network. Antenna stations are traditionally connected to the network with fiber optics, but in rural areas this is by no means cost-covering: “With Starlink, telcos can implement the connection much more cheaply,” says Musk. Telecommunications companies are often required by the state to guarantee a certain connection to rural areas in order to obtain new frequencies for the 5G bidder. This is where Musk sees his chance.
“The ultimate goal is not to go bankrupt with Starlink,” says Musk, only half-jokingly. So far, no satellite communications provider has managed to survive under the original owners.