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Google Cloud and SpaceX partner on Starlink internet service

The agreement will combine Starlink's satellite fleet with Google's infrastructure to launch networking services for enterprises

SpaceX and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) have struck a partnership that’ll see the two companies deliver data management, cloud services, and applications to enterprise customers across the world.

The agreement will combine SpaceX’s flagship Starlink low-orbit satellite system with Google Cloud’s data centres to provide high-speed broadband to customers on the network edge.

Starlink, a low latency broadband system comprising roughly 1,500 satellites, will base its ground stations within Google’s data centres, with GCP's high capacity private network supporting the delivery of the global satellite internet service.

The aim is to connect businesses and consumers to the internet and to cloud computing services regardless of where they’re based, and with the highest possible levels of connectivity.

“Applications and services running in the cloud can be transformative for organisations, whether they’re operating in a highly networked or remote environment,” said senior vice president for infrastructure at Google Cloud, Urs Hölzle.

“We are delighted to partner with SpaceX to ensure that organizations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure, and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running.”

Combining Starlink’s broadband system with Google’s infrastructure will offer organisations across the world networking availability and speeds that they should expect in the modern age, SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell added.

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SpaceX began developing Starlink in 2015, and the system has undergone deployment tests over the last few years. The objective has been to deploy roughly 1,500 satellites by 2021 in order to launch the networking service for enterprise customers, which SpaceX has almost achieved.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also submitted filings in 2019 for approval of up to 30,000 additional satellites to complement the 12,000 Starlink satellites that the FCC had already approved, according to Space News.

SpaceX previously struck a partnership with Microsoft in October 2020 to allow the computing giant to launch a fleet of satellites to host its Azure Space platform. This services the space industry’s mission needs while also claiming to offer high networking speeds with low latency for public and private organisations.

The networking service, powered by GCP, will be available from the second half of this year.

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