Starlink partners with Google for ground infrastructure
TAMPA, Fla .– SpaceX will install ground stations in Google’s data centers for its Starlink broadband satellites as part of a new cloud partnership.
The alliance aims to extend the reach of Google Cloud customers to their data, services and applications without the need for nearby cell towers.
Once connected to an increasingly available Starlink constellation around the world, they can increase performance by running applications in Google data centers.
SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell said that in return Starlink customers would leverage Google’s infrastructure and capabilities for secure connections.
Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of infrastructure at Google Cloud, said in a statement, “Applications and services running in the cloud can be transformative for organizations, whether they operate in a highly networked or remote environment.
“We are excited to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organizations with distributed footprints have transparent, secure, and rapid access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams operational.”
They plan to provide corporate clients with new services based on this partnership in the second half of this year.
Although there are currently more than 1,550 Starlinks in orbit after SpaceX’s last launch on May 9, the company remains in beta testing.
Battle in the clouds
Starlink’s Google partnership appears to be more integrated than an alliance announced in October with Microsoft, which will also use satellites to expand cloud services.
Microsoft said Starlink will support its new space-focused modular cloud company called Azure Space, which will offer mobile cloud computing data centers that can be deployed anywhere in the world.
The O3b Internet satellites that SES operates in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) also bolster this initiative, helping customers who use space data but are unwilling to invest directly in ground infrastructure to process and analyze it.
SES is jointly investing with Microsoft in Azure Orbital ground stations and MEO gateways, primarily targeting the Earth observation market.
The Luxembourg-based company became the first satellite operator in 2019 to implement ONAP, an open source platform that telecom companies use to automate their networks, with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technology on cloud services. Azure.
Cloud computing companies and satellite operators are increasingly teaming up to reduce costs and improve network access through improved virtualization technologies.
In September, Microsoft unveiled a “ground station as a service” company called Azure Orbital to compete with AWS Ground Station, which is part of the cloud computing arm of Amazon Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Meanwhile, Amazon is developing its own LEO broadband constellation called Project Kuiper.
Although Project Kuiper has yet to launch a single satellite, Amazon has set aside $ 10 billion to accelerate its development.
In 2018, the established LEO satellite operator, Iridium Communications, partnered with AWS to develop a network called CloudConnect, targeting the market for connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the Internet.
Broadband operators established with satellites in geostationary orbit (GEO) have also stepped up their cloud partnerships in recent years.
Intelsat, Inmarsat and Viasat, for example, work with Microsoft as an “ExpressRoute” partner, helping to send customer data to the Azure network of fiber-linked data centers.