It appears that Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service has secured a formidable ally. In an announcement on Thursday, Google announced that its cloud unit had won a deal to supply computing and networking resources to SpaceX. With this deal in place, Google would be able to help deliver internet services through Starlink’s satellite network.
As per a report from CNBC, the deal involves SpaceX installing ground stations at Google data centers, which, in turn, connect to Starlink’s constellation. Such a system is expected to help Google in its efforts to compete against competitors such as Amazon and Microsoft in the rapidly expanding cloud computing segment.
Expectations are high for Google’s cloud business, which has seen impressive growth in recent years. While only delivering 7% of Alphabet’s total revenue in the first quarter, for example, Google’s cloud unit exhibited a 46% growth year-over-year. This exceeded the company’s advertising business, which grew 32% YoY.
Bikash Koley, Google’s head of global networking, is optimistic about the Starlink deal. “This is one of a kind. I don’t believe something like this has been done before. The real potential of this technology became very obvious. The power of combining cloud with universal secure connectivity, it’s a very powerful combination,” Koley noted.
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google’s cloud group, was equally optimistic. “They chose us because of the quality of our network and the distribution and reach of our network,” he said, adding that Starlink’s service could be invaluable for consumers that are in locations with very limited internet access, or businesses and organizations running projects in remote areas.
By having Starlink draw on Google’s cloud network, Kurian expects organizations to deploy applications within Google’s cloud to take advantage of the system’s high speeds.
Interestingly enough, Google is not the only cloud provider working with Elon Musk’s private space firm. Back in October, Microsoft stated that it was working with SpaceX to bring Starlink’s satellite internet system to modular Azure cloud data centers, which could then be deployed anywhere.
SpaceX currently stands as one of the world’s most valuable private companies, raising money at a $74 billion valuation back in February. Starlink is also growing at an immense pace, with the private space firm launching over 1,500 satellites to date. Furthermore, SpaceX revealed last week that over 500,000 people had pre-ordered the satellite internet solution.
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