Starlink granted satellite license in Costa Rica

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After six month wait, Elon Musk’s satellite company adds another Central American market to its coverage.

Starlink, the SpaceX backed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite provider responsible for providing broadband services, has been granted a licence in Costa Rica.

A report from La Nacion, a Latin American newspaper, has stated that Starlink applied for the licence back in October 2022, but had to wait six months until 27th April for the application to be approved.

Starlink expects to launch services in Q3 23, the same time it will go live in Guatemala. Belize and Honduras are set for launches in 2024 alongside a host of additional South American nations.

Services are already available in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, while Starlink’s coverage map indicates that Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina are set for services to commence next year.

SpaceX have used their Falcon Rocket, which recently completed its 200th consecutive successful launch, to deploy 4,000 satellites. The vast majority are in the LEO range 200-500km above Earth.

Starlink and SpaceX have been huge drivers of growth in the satellite connectivity sector due to their cost-effective deployment and while Starlink satellites contributed to 77% of launches in 2022, it only represented 16% of the value in the US$6.4 billion market.

The entire space economy, including launches, ground stations, satellites themselves and services generated by the technology represented $464 billion dollars. This comes from boutique satellite consultancy Northern Sky Research (NSR), who have since been bought by Analasys Mason.

By 2030 the value of the space economy is set to hit $768 billion by 2030 according to NSR’s analysis.

Starlink’s rapid growth alongside hyperscalers such as Amazon entering the space race has put pressure on legacy satellite providers, who cannot achieve the same scale. This has led to consolidation in the industry such as the proposed merger between SES and Intelsat.