Advanced Television

Starlink exceeds 2m customers

September 25, 2023

By Chris Forrester

SpaceX’s Starlink broadband-by-satellite service has reported that it now has more than 2 million “active customers and counting” in over 60 countries – double the number from just nine months ago.

Some observers have asked ‘what is an active customer?’ and questioned why Starlink doesn’t use the commonplace description of a paying ‘subscriber’. However, Starlink has frequently used the ‘active customer’ phrase, so at least it is consistent.

It is also unclear how Starlink is accounting for its Ukrainian ‘free’ equipment being used by the nation’s military.

If 2 million+ customers/subscribers is a true number than it easily beats all its rival – and long-established – satellite broadband suppliers such as Viasat, HughesNet and regional players such as BigBlu and YahSat/Thuraya.

Starlink is also ahead of market expectations which forecast 2.2 million subscribers by the end of 2023. Its most recent statement on numbers was made in May 2023 when it said it had “about” 1,5 million.

Adding more than a half-million new customers in the four trading months since May looks like a solid performance.

Meanwhile, SpaceX continued its rapid launch cadence. It launched another batch of 22 satellites on September 23rd, from Florida. The launch used a Falcon 9 booster for a record 17th time. Another launch with 21 craft on board is scheduled for Sepembert 25th from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

Starlink also added Costa Rica to its portfolio of available markets, and reports out of Turkey say that Starlink has applied for a licence to operate. “Starlink, which provides low orbit satellite service, had conveyed their request that they wanted to operate in our country,” said Ömer Fatih Sayan, Deputy Transport and Infrastructure Minister. They held “a productive meeting” with SpaceX officials at the Information Technologies and Communications Authority [BTK] on Sept. 20, he said.

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