Elon Musk is a regular at flashes. For the whimsical billionaire at the head of the car group Tesla and the aerospace company SpaceX, nothing is too big – or too crazy – to promote his products. Its communication strategy has the merit of being clear: to impress. His biggest blow is undoubtedly, to date, the sending of his Tesla roadster into space, in 2018, thanks to a rocket from SpaceX. The event, filmed and broadcast live on the Web, made an impression. Everything was prepared with small onions, down to the music played by the car radio: the hits “Space Oddity” and “Life on Mars” by David Bowie.
Today, Elon Musk launched into the promotion of his new baby. This is Starlink. This constellation of satellites in low orbit provides high-speed Internet access. This service was launched at the end of 2020. It does not compete with other terrestrial telecom solutions, such as fiber optics. But its wide coverage of the globe is an alternative in territories without conventional networks. To date, Starlink has 3,000 satellites. Which already allows him, says Elon Musk, to cover all continents, including Antarctica. The group aims to expand its fleet, and pass the bar of 42,000 satellites.
Beat the competition
Starlink is not the only player in the satellite constellation niche. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is also betting big on this market. The European Union and China also want to have their own constellation. Elon Musk intends to outdo all his competitors. To achieve this, he jumps at every opportunity. And preferably those that are likely to attract media attention. This Monday, the billionaire said on Twitter that he intended to deploy his service … in Iran. And this, while the country is the subject of a reinforced sanctions regime from the United States, since the denunciation of its nuclear activities by former President Donald Trump.
Not enough to discourage Elon Musk. The businessman assures that “Starlink will apply for Iran sanctions waiver”. Nothing says that he will win the timpani. But everything about Iran is so sensitive that his statements have already been taken up by many media… Even if the American administration stands in his way, Elon Musk will have offered himself a big publicity stunt at a lower cost.
A solution against “white zones”
More recently, Starlink launched a new service with the American operator T-Mobile to great fanfare. This allows you to use your smartphone to communicate when you are in a “white zone”, where the mobile does not pass. “The important thing is that this means there will be no more dead zones, anywhere in the world, for your phone”claimed Elon Musk at a press conference.
Except that in reality, it is not really a question of eradicating the white zones… This service is very limited: it only allows, for the most part, the sending of short messages, and only works only if you are in an open area and a satellite is scanning the area.
Last March, Starlink, on the other hand, distinguished itself by deploying its service in Ukraine, shortly after the invasion of Russia. kyiv saw its solution as an alternative to fixed Internet networks, weakened by bombings and power cuts. At the request of the Ukrainian government, Elon Musk then hastened to provide Starlink terminals. ” Starlink has arrived. Thank you Elon Musk”, tweeted Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov in charge of the digital sector with a photo of a truck carrying terminals. This visibility is undoubtedly an asset for Starlink, in view of the fierce competition that is looming in terms of the Internet in space.