The two richest men on the planet are arguing in front of federal regulators over the huge satellite internet projects their companies are developing.
And yesterday, Jan. 26, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk posted on Twitter convincing Federal Communications Commission officials to allow SpaceX to move some of its Starlink satellites down. The altitude is lower than originally planned.
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon was among the companies opposed to SpaceX’s request, on the grounds that the modification would affect other satellites.
In response, Musk said in a tweet: “As for Amazon’s satellite system, this satellite system can only be put into full use for a few years, it is not for the public interest to hinder the deployment of the Starlink network.”
Elon Musk’s “aggressive” tweet.
Amazon also responded to Musk’s comment in a later statement: “The truth is very simple. We designed the Kuiper system to avoid Starlink’s interference and now SpaceX wants to change its system design. Those changes don’t just create a more dangerous environment for the crashes in space but also increase the radio interference for customers. Despite what SpaceX posted on Twitter, the proposed changes by SpaceX would hamper competition between satellite systems. “
Starlink is SpaceX’s plan to build an internet network connected to about 12,000 satellites designed to deliver high-speed internet to anywhere on Earth. With more than 1,000 satellites in orbit today, SpaceX began a public test program in October last year. The service initially costs $ 99 a month, in addition to an upfront $ 499 cost to order the Starlink Kit, which includes a user terminal and a Wi-Fi router to connect to satellites.
Meanwhile, Amazon is developing its own satellite internet called Project Kuiper. The company plans to launch 3,236 internet satellites into low Earth orbit – a system that will compete with Starlink. Although Amazon last December passed a major hardware milestone for antennas needed to connect to the network, the company has yet to start producing or launching its satellites.
Two top billionaires in the world are arguing about satellite internet system.
Elon Musk’s comment comes after SpaceX Director David Goldman spoke to FCC officials over the weekend to discuss the company’s proposal to move some of the Starlink satellites to lower heights. .
In a presentation to the FCC, Goldman stressed that Amazon’s representatives had it “30 meetings to protest SpaceX” but “there is no meeting to authorize its own system”, that the technology giant is trying “restrain the competition”.
In December of last year, an Amazon representative spoke to FCC chairman Ajit Pai about SpaceX’s request to revise the plans in their Starlink system. Amazon has asked the FCC to limit SpaceX’s satellites to a minimum altitude of 580 km until the regulator “has fully evaluated a detailed record of significant interference concerns” that Amazon believes the replacement The aforementioned change will cause.
Space internet projects require a lot of satellites into low Earth orbit.
“SpaceX has shown that it is capable of operating its system without exceeding 580 km and has not proven why such a condition does not take effect immediately”, Amazon’s adviser, Mariah Dodson Shuman, wrote in a letter to the FCC.
The satellite networks of both companies represent ambitious projects, as both say their satellite networks will cost about $ 10 billion or more to build. But SpaceX management estimates that Starlink can bring in $ 30 billion a year, or more than 10 times its annual revenue from its rocket business.