According to Musk himself, Elon Musk and SpaceX are planning to IPO their Star-Link Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite wi-fi service in the next few years. He also suggested that he would give access to the IPO to small retail investors, stipulating, “You can hold me to it.”
While waiting for Space Exploration Strategies Corp (the full name of “SpaceX”) to conduct that spinout, there is a burgeoning fleet of space-based telecommunication names that investors should pay attention to who will potentially be suppliers and competitors of Starlink.
Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM), for example, is one of the earliest satellite internet and wireless solutions providers. In fact, they are the only communications provider to cover 100% of the globe at present. Despite being a perennial money loser, the company has managed to stay in business thanks to its strategic investors and partnerships.
Blackrock owns over 11 percent of Iridium.
Their faith in Iridium’s future should be our first clue that their time in the sun may be near at hand.
OneWeb is another company that just saw their bankruptcy sale approved by a US court that will see them fall under the ownership of Bharti Global, one of India’s largest private equity firms, and the UK government.
Why would such big shooters invest in money-losing companies?
The reason is that space is opening for business. This year.
And there is about to be a stampede of investment into the companies like Iridium and OneWeb who have been assiduously building the infrastructure that the exploitation of space is going to need.
But never mind those big companies.
There is a whole new generation of up and coming technologies and companies that will totally disrupt the world as we know it with new communications, energy generation, and space travel mechanisms that have so far only been the stuff of science fiction.
With the Trump administration’s launch of the Artemis Accords, the framework upon which partnerships with sovereign nations who want to exploit space have been established, and that singular event has just triggered a race for space that will make the arms race look like a waste of time.
The idea of being the first to stake out the vast territory we call Space is something that few nations can realistically contemplate, given the astronomical scale of the investment required to travel beyond our atmosphere and even beyond our solar system.
So the Artemis Accords are a welcome development for countries that don’t want to be left behind.
And the fact of the matter is that the emerging “Sky-Fi” phenomenon will crystalize the advent of something the entire world has been waiting for: Internet 3.0.
Internet 3.0 is the future where we are protected by, fed by, entertained by, and enriched by the full range of technologies that need the scope and scale of the Sky-Fi network, just in order to work.
Space is going to be the largest investment opportunity in the history of humanity. The value of space in terms of wealth creation is too staggering to put a number on, though the figure agreed to by many of the world’s largest capital pools starts at $15 trillion.
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