Elon Musk’sStarlink satellite broadband system has received licensing approval for its user terminals from the U.K.’s communications regulator, paving the way for the billionaire’s venture to enter another major market.
The authorization was granted in November, an Ofcom spokesman said by email on Saturday. Greece, Germany and Australia have also approved the new system, according to local reports.
Musk — now theworld’s richest man — aims to roll out global super-fast Internet coverage to connect users beyond the reach of existing broadband networks by sending thousands of satellites into low-earth orbit.
Starlink has already launched hundreds of the satellites and started testing a beta service in North America. It’s part of the billionaire’sSpace Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, which shoots the satellites into space.
The approval paves the way for Musk’s venture to enter the British broadband market where it could compete with terrestrial U.K. Internet providers likeBT Group Plc and traditional satellite firms like Inmarsat Group Holdings Ltd., as well as OneWeb — the low-earth orbit satellite system recentlyrescued from bankruptcy by the government and India’s telecoms conglomerateBharti Global.
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Musksaid in December that Starlink would likely be a candidate for an initial public offering once its revenue growth becomes “reasonably predictable.” The U.K. approval was reported earlier by theSunday Telegraph newspaper.
— With assistance by Bill Lehane
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