SpaceX is expecting healthy revenue growth next year thanks in large part to the widening availability and interest in its Starlink remote internet business.
Elon Musk’s space venture is on track to generate revenue of $9 billion this year, with that figure growing by 67% to $15 billion in 2024, according to Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources. The report noted that Starlink is poised to have a strong 2024 as the service becomes more available around the world. The company has more than 5,000 active low-Earth orbit satellites and offers service virtually everywhere.
The figures underscores how space-based internet service — once a novelty or an extremely expensive option — has gotten affordable and accessible enough to become a viable business. Satellite-based internet has the ability to reach people in areas that traditional broadband infrastructure — cable and fiber, for instance — can’t reach.
The wider rollout of the service next year will push Starlink to become the primary driver of revenue for the company, Bloomberg said.
The numbers offer a rare glimpse into Starlink and SpaceX’s business, which is private. In September, Starlink said it had connected more than 2 million customers. Starlink’s revenue totaled $1.4 billion last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, well below its 2015 prediction of hitting $12 billion in revenue and $7 billion in operating profit. Last week, Musk tweeted that Starlink had reached “breakeven cash flow.“
SpaceX, meanwhile, sells commercial space on its reusable rockets, and has contracts with NASA, among other companies.
A spokesman for SpaceX wasn’t immediately available to comment.
While Starlink has dramatically brought down the price of satellite-based internet, it still remains higher than the starting offer of other services. The standard household plan starts at $120 and requires a $599 satellite antenna.