Will SpaceX become the world’s biggest telecoms provider? Probably.

[Commentary] By launching 11,943 satellites SpaceX will do to telecoms what WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger did to SMS and in doing so capture a $1tn+ business — and there’s fringe benefits for Tesla.

What SpaceX are actually seeking is to replace every broadband and communications provider on the planet, by cutting out the middle man of land-based networks that stand between you and the internet. In doing so they will be essentially competing with every communications provider in the world — a business valued at over a trillion dollars. Forget about poor communities in Africa for a second: this is a pitch to replace physical fibre/cable connections in modern industrialised economies But a few questions arise from this including the big one: mobile phones. Will the plan be to have mobile phones work directly with satellites overhead? Is that even possible? Or will there be a hybrid approach — provide broadband to physically static locations and work from there?

[Gavin Sheridan is the Founder and CEO of Vizlegal.]


Will SpaceX become the world’s biggest telecoms provider? Probably.