Elon Musk’s SpaceX inks satellite connectivity deal with Google Cloud
Google said on Thursday that it signed a deal with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to use the space company’s growing satellite internet service, Starlink, with its cloud unit. SpaceX will install Starlink terminals at Google’s cloud data centers around the world, aiming to utilize the cloud for Starlink customers and enabling Google to use the satellite network’s speedy internet for its enterprise cloud customers.
The Starlink-Google Cloud capabilities, which include secure data delivery to remote areas of the world, will be available to customers by the end of 2021, Google said in a press release Thursday morning. SpaceX will install the first Starlink terminal at Google’s New Albany, Ohio, data center, a spokesman said, adding more plans on the partnership will be shared in the coming months.
The deal is a natural alliance for Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Google — which, in 2015, invested$900 million into the space company to cover an array of technology, including Starlink satellite manufacturing. So far, SpaceX has launched 1,625 Starlink satellites, with about 1,550 currently in orbit. A Starlink beta program that began last year has at least 10,000 users across the US, Canada, and a few European countries, with at least 500,000 deposits of $100 placed by potential customers of the service.
Competition is fierce between Musk’s Starlink network and the budding Kuiper Project from Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, which aims to launch more than 3,000 satellites in roughly the same orbit as Starlink to also provide global broadband internet. The Google-SpaceX deal marks another competitive win for Google in its own rivalry with Amazon’s behemoth cloud services unit, Amazon Web Services. Amazon executives have said they aim to leverage internet connectivity from Kuiper to supercharge its AWS cloud services.
Read more here: