Launched in November 2020, Starlink is a satellite internet service provider brought into the market by Space X. Space X is one of the largest space exploration companies whose CEO, Elon Musk, is on a mission to discover the secrets of this universe. And Starlink is one of the few services recently made available across the US. But since then, it has made quite a name in almost 48 more global countries. However, to increase the competition in the market, Starlink is one of many internet service providers. There are plenty of rivals who are waiting to pouch on the mistakes or shortcomings of Starlink.
- List of Starlink Competitors
- Challenges Faced by Starlink Competitors
- Regulatory and Legal Considerations
- Impact of Starlink Competitors on the Telecom Industry
Here is a list of some familiar Starlink competitors that could help you get a bigger picture of the competition faced by Starlink.
1. Hughes Net
The first on our list of Starlink competitors is Hughes Net, whose company Hughes Network Systems is known for being the largest internet service provider panning across the US. Almost 1.5 million are subscribed to Hughes Net, with an annual revenue generation of $2 billion. It was way back in 2012 when Hughes Net officially started to unveil its broadband services to the public with packages up to 25Mbps download speed.
Just coming in second after Hughes Net is Viasat, the second-largest satellite internet service provider in the US. Interestingly, it doesn’t only sell its services to consumers but also to airlines, marines, defense, and some top businesses. Subsequently, 2 different geostationary satellites, namely Viasat-1 and Viasat-2, are responsible for offering its services. This allows the Internet to be received in countries like Mexico, Brazil, and the US.
Check Starlink vs Viasat.
When it comes to rivalry, OneWeb, and SpaceX have a friendly one that caters to the need of people first. Space X helped launch Oneweb’s satellites because of the sudden sanctions put into place by Russia. Compared to other satellite internet service providers, Oneweb offers a download speed of 165 Mbps and an upload of 30 Mbps.
Until recently, Starlink has no plans to launch their services over to China. Thus, it is only the broadband services that are responsible for providing internet access. But with time, that could soon change as Geespace is looking to provide almost 1.4 billion population internet service. There are also plans regarding Geespace building a constellation of almost 240 satellites that can help boost their program.
The company closest to rival Space X is Amazon, which recently acquired the most significant launch vehicles in history. With an investment number spanning almost $10 billion, Amazon could directly threaten Space X’s hold at the top spot. There were already early signs when Amazon launched a small customer internet terminal that provided a speed of 40 Mbps.
The faithful Canadian government introduced Telesat to the public in 1969. Currently, there are almost 15 geostationary satellites revolving around space. But in 2023, the first lightspeed satellite project was supposed to be launched. This lightspeed project comprised almost 1,600 LEO satellites to provide private or partial services at an even higher altitude.
7. The European Union
In February this year, the European Union decided to launch its new venture of satellite internet service. With an initial investment of $6 billion, the European Union would want to replace Space X. Approval from the European Parliament and state members are required to move forward with this plan. Some private companies like Airbus, SES, and Eutelsat are given the responsibility to handle this project wisely.
In markets ranging from the Middle East, Africa, and South America, Freedomsat has made quite a name in the United Kingdom. An internet download speed of 30 Mbps is provided to users across the UK. People expecting an unlimited service would be disappointed to find that Freedomsat has an internet cap in place.
Lastly, Telstra comes under the most extensive telecommunication companies list by market share in Australia. Telstra has managed to earn an annual revenue of more than AU$21 billion which answers most of their recent innovations. Almost all the satellites that Telstra launches are present in Australia. However, it still offers services across boundaries if people want to get the Internet from it. Mostly it is the internet service provided to customers based on enterprises. In addition, unlike other internet service providers, mobile 5g plans are available for people to use.
The race to conquer the Internet from beyond the reaches of our earth has taken a direction that many people might have only imagined. Space X is one of those private companies that is bringing a revolution in satellite internet service. And with that, a few other companies are also trying to enter into the picture to take that elusive number one spot. But they are facing a few challenges that must be overcome.
1. Leaving Debris
Even though no one knows the end of the space from where it starts or finishes, people shouldn’t take this for granted. Instead, proper care must be provided whenever a satellite is sent to space. Ensure no debris is left behind, which could make the space dirty from a certain angle. Furthermore, later on, other projects in space might need help regarding navigation as debris would be floating around from one place to another.
2. Light Pollution
On Earth, many of us have read about pollution of different categories like soil, water, air, land, and many more. But when it goes beyond the earth, the subject of pollution changes to light. The satellites launched into the sky are often highly reflected, which can blind anyone who looks directly. And, while traveling through the night sky, it can brighten the sky by leaving a trailing wave of light behind.
3. Market Competition and Future Outlook
Space internet service providers have faced tough competition in recent years, like other industries. Most of those service providers want to gain the top spot, which belongs to Starlink. Powered by Space X, Starlink has continued to hold onto its spot through continuous innovation and developmental programs. Elon Musk has continued to spend billions to launch new services and spread the reach of Starlink far and wide.
It is through Starlink that many communities are starting to get access to the Internet. Nowadays, people who need to become more familiar with the Internet require their services to complete any daily task. When it comes to the future, many satellite internet service providers are equally trying their best to compete against Starlink.
However, till now, neither of the competitors has been able to do the deed. Although, from the looks of it, that day might not be far away when one of those competitors starts replacing Starlink at all the places it operates. But the development team behind those companies must listen to their customers, who are the backbone of their products. Not listening to them or paying heed could provide a better picture of your company.
Regulatory and Legal Considerations
These are a few regulatory and legal considerations that Starlink and its competitors might face for providing free internet service. Those points have been summarised below.
One of the first concerns regarding Starlink and its competitors providing internet service is an issue related to jurisdiction. Starlink provides its services in such a way that it is often difficult to determine which country’s law should be implemented on them. This later on causes heaps of confusion that takes a lot of time to clear up. Moreover, users are also subjected to various threats regarding data security, privacy, and cyber issues.
2. Data Privacy
Because of not being bounded under a strict jurisdiction, it is tricky for Starlink and other competitors to maintain their data privacy. The data privacy laws vary from nation to nation; thus, both follow different protocols. Therefore, it is challenging to understand which nations’ data privacy could suit the people living on another part of the border. If your personal information gets into other people’s hands, it might lead to a face-off against more significant repercussions.
Starlink competitors’ impact has been positive for quite some time in the domain of the telecom industry. Thus, we have discussed a few possible reasons that might positively impact Starlink in the telecom industry.
1. Rural and Remote Areas
One of the first things Starlink competitors have sorted out is related to their service in rural and remote areas. Before Starlink, providing services in those areas was tricky due to needing to be developed. Digging up places and building broadband towers to receive Internet was quite time-consuming. Nevertheless, that problem could be sorted through Starlink as the satellite doesn’t have to go through such problems.
2. Cheap Cost
Starlink doesn’t only provide a massive boost to the speed of the Internet in remote areas but also offers them at cheap prices. Starlink offers low-cost packages for some places where broadband services are hard to reach in those areas. Thus, people who need to earn more can use internet services without paying a considerable sum. Affordability is at an all-time high compared to when the Internet was hard to acquire people nationwide.
Space X’s Starlink might have caused a revolution to the internet space that was only forthcoming for a short time. Many people globally need internet access in such modern days. This caused plenty of problems as they were almost eliminated from the present world. Starlink is one of many satellite internet service providers, as others have also emerged with time. Those companies are trying to take the limelight off Starlink and put it onto them.