For Elon Musk and Starlink, 2022 will remain a special year. If the billionaire has particularly distinguished himself in recent months with the incredible takeover of Twitter, he has also widely promoted his Starlink satellite internet network, in particular during the war in Ukraine, and more recently during the demonstrations in Iran. .
As a result, the SpaceX subsidiary’s internet traffic exploded in 2022, to the point of being multiplied by 15 over one year, according to an analysis carried out by the American company Cloudflare, specializing in infrastructure and services for sites. Internet. “Starlink is not yet available worldwide, but traffic is growing. In Ukraine, Starlink provided backup internet connectivity during the Russian invasion. Traffic spiked in Romania after the service was launched there -low in May, and in the United States, traffic increased steadily throughout the year”notes Cloudflare.
One million customers worldwide, 10,000 in France
Today, Starlink claims more than one million customers, up from 100,000 in August 2021. The satellite network has therefore gained 300,000 subscribers in three months, since the company claimed 700,000 in September. She had also indicated that 700,000 people were on the waiting list. On this occasion, the American company had also revealed for the first time its number of customers in Europe. Starlink then declared that it had 75,000 subscribers on the Old Continent, including 6,500 in France, where the service has been available since May 2021. The SpaceX subsidiary now claims 10,000 on the French market.
In France, the deployment of this satellite Internet offer was hampered this year by a decision of the Council of State, which deprived Starlink of frequencies in France in April after validating an appeal filed by environmental associations. The American company was finally authorized to use frequencies again two months later. According to the Electronic Communications Regulatory Authority (Arcep), Elon Musk’s service is especially useful for developing connectivity in white areas or areas poorly served by fiber networks.
As a reminder, the Starlink network is based on hundreds of satellites moving around the Earth in low orbit. It requires equipment sold for €450, as well as a subscription of €50 per month, to benefit from a speed that varies between 20 and 200 Mbit/s, more efficient than a traditional ADSL network. To date, SpaceX has deployed more than 3,000 satellites in low orbit to “rebuilding the internet in space”. SpaceX plans to put a total of 12,000 Starlink satellites into orbit by 2025. But Elon Musk plans to launch 30,000 more to reach a total of 42,000 satellites and allow him to flood the world with high-speed internet connection.