Elon Musk said that his internet company Starlink was becoming more lucrative as he estimated the total investment in the business at $20 billion to $30 billion.
Musk also said that Starlink has two promising partnerships with major telecommunications companies in the country that could help the SpaceX division plug gaps in fifth-generation cellular and wireless networks.
The Tesla CEO and founder of SpaceX, a rocket project that aims to colonize Mars, said the investment costs before Starlink can generate fully positive cash flow would be between $5 billion and $10 billion.
Starlink, a series of low-orbit satellites providing fast, low-latency connections, now offers a test service to cover the world until August this year, with the exception of the north and south poles.
It has more than 1,500 satellites at its altitude and is in use in a dozen countries, with more added each month.
Musk predicted that the total number of customers would reach half a million in the next 12 months, up from 69,000 today.
A number of critics question whether satellite internet can be a viable business model because it is mainly aimed at remote areas where not enough people may be able to pay the high fees needed to recoup the investment costs.
Musk said he was in talks with potential partners as a number of countries require operators to provide rural coverage as conditions for their 5G licenses.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.