The rapid deployment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation indicates that its director, Elon Musk, is setting the standard in the commercial satellite sector, undermining the competitiveness of European companies in this sector, according to the Agency’s director general. European Space (ESA), Josef Aschbacher.
On statements to The Financial Times, the senior official criticized the willingness of some European countries to facilitate Musk’s ambitions to dominate the new economy high-speed internet, which he predicted to be “more restrictive around frequencies and orbital positions” in the future.
“The governments of Europe should have a collective interest in providing European providers with equal opportunities to play in a fair market“, he stressed.
Recently, Germany has approached the International Telecommunications Union, the UN regulatory agency, to grant part of the spectrum for 40,000 satellites by Starlink. Musk’s service has also already received permission from US regulators for the launch of more than 30,000 satellites.
Currently, there are more than 1,750 satellites assets of the company, which thus controls more than 36 % of all active satellites. SpaceX plans to create a constellation of 42,000 satellites.
“In fact, [Musk] is making the rules. The rest of the world, including Europe … is not responding fast enough, “admitted Aschbacher.
SpaceX previously explained that the Starlink network will provide “a near global coverage to the inhabited world, “but it will primarily serve rural and isolated regions that are poorly served by conventional terrestrial infrastructure.