Advanced Television

Starlink to boost antenna output

September 13, 2021

By Chris Forrester

It seems SpaceX’s Starlink service is gearing up to meet its outstanding demand and widen distribution of its broadband by satellite service.

At last week’s Satellite 2021 show in Washington, SpaceX’s CFO Bret Johnsen told delegates that the company is currently losing money on each and every Starlink system it supplies and in particular on the sophisticated antenna needed to receive and transmit signals.

Starlink has charged users $499 for its equipment.

“Right now, we are not at a point where we want to be from a cost perspective versus what we’re charging. If you can get that user terminal cost down, that’s really the Holy Grail for the consumer side of the business.”

Starlink is building antennas at a rate of 5000 units per week. Johnsen confirmed that a new version of the user terminal, whose production cost will be reduced by a little over half will be rolled out this autumn.

Johnsen said that production will be ramped up to multiples of 5000 and had made modifications to get over current component delivery constraints. He added that the new dish would roll out in the next couple of months.

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