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Space X: where in the world is Starlink available?

Space X will stop at nothing to expand its influence on the geopolitical scene.

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Space X: where in the world is Starlink available?

Space X will stop at nothing to expand its influence on the geopolitical scene. The American multinational intends to request an exemption from sanctions against Iran from the White House in order to offer Internet connection services there via its constellation of Starlink satellites. This was announced on Monday, September 26, by the founder of the aerospace company Elon Musk on his Twitter account. He reacted to the message sent to him by an Iranian journalist, according to which Starlink could "really be a game-changer for the future" of the country.

The entrepreneur took the opportunity to announce that Starlink was now available on all continents, "including Antarctica", the result of an aggressive start and fast paces. Launched at the end of 2020, the Starlink service provides internet access, particularly in areas poorly served by landline fixed and mobile networks, for the purchase of an antenna and a modem and a subscription, the prices of which vary depending on the country. . How do these satellites work? They are in "low Earth orbit" at an altitude of about 550 kilometers. This relative proximity offers the advantage of low latency (the transmission delay in computer communications) and a faster internet.

In total, Space X has deployed nearly 3,000 Starlink satellites since 2019 and conducts about one launch per week with its own Falcon 9 rockets to accelerate the deployment of its constellation. And the company does not intend to stop there since it plans to launch up to 42,000 satellites in order to offer a broadband connection from space, because the regular sending of new satellites is essential for maintain a sufficient quality of service. “However, as new customers arrive, the capacities of the satellites are increasingly requested”, point out our colleagues from Numerama. On Saturday evening, Space X launched 52 of its Starlink internet satellites into orbit.

To view the graph, click here.

Advances related to Starlink are widely promoted on social media: On Sunday, the South African-born billionaire wrote on Twitter that the number of connection kits to access Starlink had passed the one million mark. For how many users? Worldwide, the satellite internet access service would have more than 700,000 customers, including 75,000 kits installed in Europe, and 6,500 in France, according to information taken up by the website L'Usine numérique.

Space X has been steadily expanding Starlink service. As of September 2021, it was serving customers in a dozen countries, and the number grew to 25 countries in February 2022, according to news site Mashable. Today, the network is available in about thirty states. In addition to the United States and parts of Australia, the list of countries where Starlink is currently available also includes the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and, outside of Europe, parts of Chile and Brazil. Almost all of South America, Africa and parts of Asia should soon benefit from Starlink's services.

If we look at this map of the world, its satellite Internet offer seems to be gradually transforming into a political tool. The proof with the recent views of the boss of Space X on Iran, at a time when the country is shaken by anti-regime demonstrations, after the death of a young Iranian woman following her arrest by the morality police in Tehran. A few months earlier, the boss of SpaceX had waved his Starlink offer in Ukraine where he had supplied antennas and modems to the Ukrainian army in order to improve its communication capacities in the war which opposes it to Vladimir Putin's Russia. . A beautiful showcase for the richest man in the world.

To promote his Starlink network, Elon Musk does not hesitate to place himself at the bedside of the poorest. In 2020, the auto-entrepreneur is making its satellites available to the city of Malden (Washington State), ravaged by fires, to help with its reconstruction. Note that the Hoh tribe - a community of Indians located in a remote part of Washington State, had been among the first users of SpaceX's broadband at the end of 2020. Through these communication shots, Elon Musk hopes without doubt shaping his image as a committed businessperson.

Behind these interventions during natural disasters, the race for profits is never far away and Starlink is also targeting the mobile satellite connection market. "Beyond the internet, however, Starlink and a number of other satellite network providers are also in a race to establish a global connection to mobile phone service," says Melissa de Zwart, professor (Digital Technology, security and governance) at Flinders University in Australia in The Conversation, September 14. Again, Elon Musk places his pawns in the sky, colonizing it a little more.

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