Who Owns Starlink?

Jessica Watkins

Starlink in the Earth Orbit

Starlink is primarily known for delivering internet that combines high speeds and low latency broadband. Starlink has enabled internet access to remote and rural locations globally. Besides, it has created waves for its rapid expansion and coverage areas over the years. Thanks to its large constellation of satellites, it can launch more satellites into orbit, maximizing reach and coverage areas. With that, all said, who owns Starlink?

Starlink is not an individual company but a part of SpaceX Company (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation). It was founded in 2002 by Elon Musk 2002. Therefore, the short is Elon Musk owns Starlink. 

What is Starlink

Starlink is an internet service provider powered by the low earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation, launched by SpaceX in 2020. It is operated by SpaceX, a designer and manufacturer of launch rockets and spacecraft into the earth’s orbit, making internet connection for rural areas an easy endeavor.

Starlink provides satellite coverage to over 40 countries. This promotes improved global mobile phone services and internet coverage despite location. By using phased array antennas and two parabolic antennas, Starlink can provide increased connection. Starlink has enabled and created a superfast, global internet service that is accessible at any place and time. Some may argue about the popularity of Starlink.

How popular is Starlink?

As of May 2022, SpaceX had registered more than 400,000 global subscribers, as recorded in the CBNC reports. This indicates a growth of 38% from the 250,000 subscribers in March. Additionally, the Starlink app made it into the list of the top 100 downloaded apps in the US.

Who Owns Starlink?

Starlink is a division of the SpaceX Company. A company that enables high-speed connection and rural internet connection through space satellites. Starlink is not an individual company but is a division of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Company. Elon musk is the CEO of Starlink. He is the controlling stakeholder, thus putting him in control of Starlink and all other SpaceX divisions.

Starlink is a division that sees that internet reach has been achieved globally. It specifically deals with internet providence using satellites well-provisioned in the earth’s orbit. Starlink’s division under SpaceX makes them the most suitable rocket-launched satellites that allow effective connectivity.

About Elon Musk

Elon musk is an African-born American digital entrepreneur who has participated in the building of numerous digital platforms. With a successful history of internet dealing, he is responsible for SpaceX’s invention. A significant investor and CEO of electric car manufacturer Tesla. Additionally, he is the founder of SpaceX and payment firm PayPal.

In 1995, he founded the Zip2 Company. Zip2 provided maps and directories to online news writers. Computer manufacturer Compaq then bought the Zip2 Company for $307 million. Musk then founded an online financial company known as X.com, currently known as PayPal. PayPal specializes in transferring online transfer of money. eBay proceeded to buy PayPal for $1.5 billion 

He started SpaceX; a company aimed to make more affordable rockets. By 2010 there were two successful launches of the Falcon 1 in 2006 and the larger Falcon 9 in 2010. These two rockets deliberately cost much less than other competing rockets.

In 2018, a third rocket was launched. Named the Falcon Heavy, it was designed to carry over 117,000 pounds (53,000 kg) into orbit. This registered nearly twice the workload that any other rocket could carry to space.

 SpaceX has announced the Super Heavy–Starship system, a successor of the previous rockets. It would be capable of lifting a payload of 100,000 kg to low Earth orbit. This payload consists of the Starship and a spacecraft. The spacecraft was made to provide fast transportation between Earth cities and building bases on the Moon and Mars. 

SpaceX later developed the Dragon spacecraft with the primary purpose of carrying supplies to space. With a larger carrying capacity, it can accommodate more than seven astronauts at a go.

The Super Heavy–Starship system conducted its first test flights in 2020. Besides Elon Musk is the CEO of SpaceX, he was a major design contributor to all the rockets 

How does Starlink work?

Starlink working detailed procedure varies depending on the perspective observed. Starlink’s operation can be explained from a consumer, user, or provider perspective. From a user perspective, Starlink works optimally with a Starlink kit. In the kit, there exists a:

  • Starlink satellite dish
  • Wi-Fi router
  • Cables  
  • Base.

The Starlink base provides a way for ground installation. Some applications do not guarantee the proper use of the Starlink base and thus may necessitate you to purchase a permanent mount for the best installation. Provided the dish has a clear sky view, it connects quickly. It is a self-orienting dish; thus, once the hardware is set up, connect to the Starlink network and manage your service through the Starlink app.

When connectivity proves to be a challenge, Starlink provides a solution. Starlink can operate on lands with no connectors, just the dish, and an open sky. The Starlink website states that they are perfectly Unrestrained by ground network infrastructure.

Starlink claims to deliver high-speed broadband internet to remote locations where internet access is impossible. For proper connection, set up the small satellite dish in an open area to only receive and pass the bandwidth. With mounting options varying depending on the application area, the company offers several options for your desired mounting area. Moreover, Starlink has an app that utilizes augmented reality to tell customers the best location and geological position to mount their receivers.

SpaceX can perform such services due to its large satellite constellation in low Earth orbit. Positioned at about 550km from the earth, it reduces travel distance, making it a perfect choice.

When comparing other satellite internet providers’ position to that of Starlink, Starlink has satellites that are relatively close to the ground and are many, thus providing lower latency service.  They can increase their network capacity by using four phased array antennas and two parabolic antennas. 

What is the hype about Starlink?

SpaceX has an expansive and high-speed satellite internet network referred to as Starlink. Starlink has created waves in internet technology due to its widespread connectivity.

Starlink has drawn a lot of attention because it is a determined goal from an achiever entrepreneur. Able to deliver high-speed internet through satellites, Starlink can bypass ground infrastructure just like that. But why has it taken the industry by storm?

Thanks to its large collection of satellites in the lower atmosphere, the services of Starlink have expanded significantly. With over 3,000 satellites currently orbiting the earth and additional weekly launches, Starlink tends to increase its services daily.

On 18 September 2022, SpaceX launched satellites into space. Starlink claims that it is now available across all continents. The US National Science Foundation is testing Starlink Polar capabilities in Antarctica. There are plans to bring Starlink services across African countries as of mid-September 2022

Starlink’s download speeds are higher than any other satellite internet provider though it comes with challenges. Challenges of running Starlink equipment include;

  1. The equipment costs $599 for residential service with an additional $110 subscription fee. These fees are pretty high for an internet provider though you get what you paid for.
  2.  It does not cover all areas. Starlink has plans to broaden and expand its coverage to accommodate the rest of the continent. But until then, large parts of the globe cannot access this special internet service.

How fast is Starlink?

Starlink’s download speed has varied differently in quarters. According to the network intelligence firm, the second quarter registered speeds of up to 62MBbps. However, in years prior, the download speeds were closer to 90Mbps. Starlinks have decreased, and the services in the second quarter were much faster than any other satellite broadband offerings

Most people now prefer Starlink service as compared to other internet providers. This growing customer base tends to have an impact on the network performance. Apart from reduced speeds, latency also remained relatively flat. Starlink records a median latency of about 48 Ms. Although; in February, musk tweeted that Starlink is expected to double its top speeds to 300 Mbps by the end of 2021. 

Now, speeds vary depending on time and location and thus will be difficult to tell the specific speeds. From 2021 to 2022, Starlink’s speed has seen a growth of 38%, meaning a relative growth to about 90Mbps internet speed. 


Starlink has come into play when the internet is necessary for your home and workspace. If you are a rural dweller, your internet options are limited to poor or no internet. Providing both high speeds with low latency, Starlink is a perfect solution for you.

Understanding the brain behind the Starlink technology opens up more understanding of the internet providers’ applications and work protocols. As discussed above, Elon musk is the owner of SpaceX, thus translating to the rightful owner of the Starlink network provider.

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