Starlink launch March 18th

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Another Starlink launch tomorrow, Saturday March 14th. Another 60 satellites going into orbit. SpaceX is getting closer to starting their satellite internet service to compete with Viasat and EchoStar HughesNet.

How many customers will Viasat and EchoStar HughesNet lose to SpaceX Starlink?

10% ?
30% ?
50% ?
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Jay

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Posted 3 months ago

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Voyager

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If it happens. That one that was supposed to happen last week was aborted. I suspect this is that launch rescheduled. StarLink is years away from being a business threat to anyone, but I do hope they get to that point. They have a long road ahead with lots of potholes in it.
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Jay

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Elon and Gwynne Shotwell just confirmed last week at Satellite 2020 conference that they expect to begin offering service in the northern USA states during the second half of 2020. All of the current launch orbits are design to create 24/7 coverage of the USA.

Here is a YouTube simulation that shows how they are doing USA coverage first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k73AFybi7zk
(Edited)
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Voyager

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Well, a confirmation of an expectation is certainly something you can take to the bank! LOL.
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ExSatUser

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I will wait for that :).
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Jay

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On the day Starlink launches, they will have more usable capacity than Viasat has available today.

480 satellites X 20 Gbps = 9,600 Gbps. It is estimated that between 10% to 20% of the capacity is usable at any one time because the LEO satellites spends time over ocean and land that is not usable. So let's go with the lower end of the esimate at 10%. 960 Gbps of usable capacity.

Viasat today only has 400 Gbps of capacity, of which, they also do not reach 100% capacity consumed due to nighttime hours, low demand periods.


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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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Be cautious of your capacity numbers there. Remember, each satellite will be able to provide a user at any give point on earth for the short time it will take to pass over that spot on earth, when the next satellite in the orbit will take over. Besides, 480 satellites will not cover the world, in reality, it will take thousands to get 24/7 coverage everywhere. Hopefully that will become a reality in time, but certainly not this year.
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Jay

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@Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314

You misread my comment. If you would like to get an understanding of how the current launches provide continuous 24/7 coverage for the northern USA, please watch this simulation video which explains it well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k73AFybi7zk

24/7 coverage of 75% of the USA, Canada and Europe population is achieved with the first several hundred satellites, which will be launched by the end of April and in their operational orbits 3 months later, July-August time frame.

More launches after that merely means wider coverage and more capacity.
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Old Labs

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It doesn't matter what the aggregate capacity is. What matters is the capacity of a single satellite and how many subscribers it will cover. A satellite that's on the other side of the world does me no good. What is the coverage area for each satellite? What is the subscriber density in the coverage area it's currently over?

Just like it doesn't matter what Viasat's aggregate capacity is. It's the share of that capacity on my beam and how many are currently using it on my beam.

I've got 4 cell towers that handle my phone here at the house. I'm only using one of them at a time however as they hand off to one another as more users pass through the area.
(Edited)
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Jay

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Viasat's CEO at the Raymond James investment conference in early March estimated LEO Starlink utilization at 10% to 20%, which is what I used above. This takes into account time over the ocean and time over useless areas of land.
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Old Labs

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Again your looking at 10 to 20% of aggregate not single sat. I'm just curious. For all intents and purposes I've moved on from satellite except to supplement my current service. Are you really  relying on Viasat's  CEO???
(Edited)
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Jay

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Single sat doesn't matter. They will sell to customers based on what a given area can support in terms of coverage. They are obviously not going to oversell in the NYC region what they cannot provide.

In terms of Viasat and EchoStar HughesNet, no matter what it means that they will be losing some percentage of their customer base.

Viasat currently has 400 Gbps of total capacity available over the USA.

Starlink at 480 satellites (end of April) will have 9,600 Gbps of nameplate capacity in orbit. Even using the lower end of that utilization at 10%, that would be 960 Gbps of capacity, more than double that of Viasat. 

Every launch SpaceX does of Starlink is 60 satellites X 20 Gbps each = 1,200 Gbps of nameplate raw capacity. They are doing a launch ever 3 weeks for the rest of this year. They will have 24/7 coverage of the norther USA, Canada and most of Europe by August of 2020.

More launches just means more capacity and wider coverage. 

Viasat and EchoStar HughesNet are facing massive competitive later this year.

Viasat is lucky in that they have a government business and the airline business with longer term contracts. But 1/3 of their business is consumer rural satellite internet. Most of that 1/3 in revenue will likely be lost over the next 2-3 years.

EchoStar HughesNet is really screwed. 80% to 90% of their business is consumer customers that are now going to be at risk.
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Old Labs

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Of course single sat coverage matters just like Steve said. Come and see us when it's all in place - I hope it succeeds. But like everyone you're simply speculating - Viasat-2 was supposed to be the next big thing until it wasn't and now we're on to Viasat-3, the next bigger thang. Just hope that there are no RUDs...
(Edited)
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Mark here

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I'll be the first to dump ViaSat when an alternative becomes available
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Mark here

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I'll be the first to dump ViaSat when an alternative becomes available
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ExSatUser

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Viasat isnt the only satellite internet company
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Jay

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EchoStar HughesNet is the only other one and it sucks even worse than Viasat. Both companies have oversold their capacity on the current satellites in orbit.

They are both going to lose customers when Starlink becomes available. The only question is how many. 10%? 30%? 50%? 

Starlink is launching 20x more capacity than EchoStar and Viasat combined by the end of 2022.

Starlink = approx 4,000 satellites by end of 2022. 4,000 X 20 Gbps = 80,000 Gbps

VIasat = 3,400 (400 Gbps existing plus 3,000 in three new satellites)

Echostar HughesNet = one Jupiter 3 satellite with 500 Gbps of new capacity
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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The only question for many of us is how many times you'll repeat the same math?
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Jay

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When you admit I am right and you are wrong !!!
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Jay

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Old Labs

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Well that will be after it's up and running and achieves its goals. Several years ago a small number of the champions here went off to a Viasat conference and came back telling us that Viasat-2 was the answer. One in particular told me I didn't have to lower my expectations of what to expect, even publicly stating:

The trip convinced me even further that the decision I made to become a customer with your company over a decade ago was the right one, and I look forward more than ever to being a customer with your company for as long as I will need rural internet.

We all know how that turned out. Most eagerly worked themselves into a lather in anticipation. The numbers there made sense until they didn't. Times change and the unexpected happens. Why it seems like just yesterday I could go to the store and find toilet paper despite toilet paper caps.
 
I'll skip watching the launch thanks, continue to be skeptical albeit hopeful, and wait for the dust to settle. But pimp on... 

 By your math, the answer to your "only" question is 100%.
(Edited)
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Voyager

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@Jay your posts remind me of one of my favorite quotes from my days working in a corporate research lab. Unfortunately, the origin of this quote is uncertain so I can’t given an attribution, but it goes like this “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice: in practice, there is.”
(Edited)
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Old Labs

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Yogi Berra?
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Voyager

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Long before Yogi was born. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2018/04...
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Old Labs

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Sounds like a theory to me.
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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So Jay keeps stating the total capacity of a huge array of satellites serving a small patch of the earth's surface at any given time. That is just like the cell companies advertising their service has the total amount of data capability of all the operating towers in their system, when in reality one can only get service from a very few towers in any particular place.

I am not saying that the system will provide internet, but that service in any one area will be limited to the capacity of the satellite passing over that location, not the entire galaxy of the satellites.Only time will tell how well the system will provide high speed internet to us.
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Jay

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Total capacity utilization for a LEO constellation was estimated by the Viasat CEO (Orlando Raymond James conference) at 10% to 20%. I am using those numbers in above and it still crushes Viasat both on cost per Gbps and useful capacity available to customers.

SpaceX's cost per Gbps launched into orbit is a fraction of Viasat's. 

Viasat is doing better than EchoStar HughesNet with their strategy. EchoStar Hughesnet new Jupiter 3 satellite is 40% more expensive per Gbps than Viasat's new gen 3 satellite.

But neither of them are remotely competitive with SpaceX Starlink on either cost, total useful capacity or any metric.
(Edited)
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Jay

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Wow, Viasat stock was down 35% at one point today. Closed down 25%.
The market was only down 5%. Maybe investors are realizing the threat from SpaceX.
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ExSatUser

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Lol
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Voyager

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Another booster bites the dust. I wonder how many they can lose and still meet their expected launch schedule?

https://youtu.be/rmrSx2OuO84
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Jay

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According to the Wiki SpaceX has six of the block 5 boosters in the barn right now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Falcon_9_first-stage_boosters

They only fly the block 5 version now. The booster for the Crew Dragon mission in late May is a new booster that SpaceX can use for anything after that mission. 

It currently takes about 60 days to turn around a booster, so they need about 4 or 5 boosters to maintain their goal of 2 launches per month. The factory mostly produces Stage 2 boosters right now and occasionally a Stage 1 booster if they are getting low.