SpaceX is now breaking even and no longer subsidizing the cost of producing its Starlink antennas used by consumers for the satellite internet service.
When SpaceX first entered the Starlink market, the company said that the manufacturing cost of its user terminals was around $3,000 each. However, through innovation and mass production savings, they managed to reduce the cost to roughly $1,300 per terminal by early 2021.
Now that cost has plummeted to less than $600 each, according to Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX’s Vice President of Starlink and Commercial Sales, during a panel discussion at the World Satellite Business Week conference in Paris on Wednesday.
“We were subsidizing terminals but we’ve been iterating on our terminal production so much that we’re no longer subsidizing terminals, which is a good place to be,” Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX vice president of Starlink and commercial sales, said during a panel at the World Satellite Business Week conference. (via CNBC)
SpaceX sells its Starlink antennas for C$759/US$599 each, not including any sales like the one currently going on for rural Canadians. That is the price for the regular consumer version of Dishy McFlatface, but for more specialized customers Starlink Aviation or Starlink Maritime, SpaceX offers more rugged antennas at much higher prices, some as high as $150,000 each.
According to the last update from SpaceX in May, there were around 1.5 million Starlink subscribers around the world. At the conference Hofeller hinted that this figure has grown substantially, emphasizing that Starlink aims to “grow to hopefully millions and millions” of customers worldwide.
This rapid growth in subscriber count, along with cost reductions in producing the Starlink antennas has helped SpaceX reach profitability. As we previously reported Starlink had its first profitable quarter in the first quarter of 2023, and according to President and COO Gwynne Shotwell, the company should end the year in a profitable position as well.