SpaceX’s Starlink will locate some of its satellite ground stations at Google data centers.
The news was announced as part of a new partnership between the companies that will see the two firms deliver data, cloud services, and applications to enterprise customers at the ‘network edge.’
“Applications and services running in the cloud can be transformative for organizations, whether they're operating in a highly networked or remote environment," said Urs Hölzle, SVP of Infrastructure at Google Cloud. “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.”
Elon Musk’s company has launched more than 1,500 satellites into orbit to deliver broadband via satellite to customers. The companies said connectivity from Starlink's constellation of low-Earth-orbit satellites provides a path for organizations operating in remote areas to deliver cloud-based data and applications to teams distributed across countries and continents.
The combined services are expected to be available in the second half of 2021, but details about the number or location of ground stations that will be installed were not disclosed.
“Combining Starlink's high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google's infrastructure and capabilities provides global organizations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect,” said SpaceX President and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell. “We are proud to work with Google to deliver this access to businesses, public sector organizations, and many other groups operating around the world.”
SpaceX announced a partnership with Microsoft last year, but the deal didn’t include Starlink ground stations being installed. Both Microsoft and AWS are offering ‘ground station-as-a-Service’ capabilities from a number of their data center locations globally.
Google and partner Fidelity invested $1bn in SpaceX back in 2015.