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Musk Targets Telecom for Next Disruption With Starlink Internet

  • SpaceX’s satellite-based service wins over some early adopters
  • Coverage so far includes rural areas in U.S., Canada and U.K.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink satellites launches from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Oct. 6, 2020.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying 60 Starlink satellites launches from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Oct. 6, 2020.Photographer: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Elon Musk became the world’s richest person this month by upending the global auto industry and disrupting aerospace heavyweights with reusable rockets. Now he’s setting his sights on another business dominated by entrenched incumbents: telecommunications.

Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched more than 1,000 satellites for its Starlink internet service and is signing up early customers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. SpaceX has told investors that Starlink is angling for a piece of a $1 trillion market made up of in-flight internet, maritime services, demand in China and India -- and rural customers such as Brian Rendel.