Europe wants to build its version of the Starlink Internet project

Reports indicate that Europe plans to develop a 6 billion euros ($ 7.3 billion) satellite internet system modeled on the Starlink network of entrepreneur Elon Musk, as the race for global satellite coverage intensifies.

A study of the low Earth orbit constellation was signed by European Union officials, unidentified people at the European Commission told the French newspaper Les Echos.

They said: The constellation sends the Internet to European citizens, especially in isolated societies, and provides safe lines for government communications.

The European Union may make an announcement about a constellation of satellites soon, without disclosing further details.

The European Commission said in a statement: The study of the constellation begins at the beginning of next year, and the contract is expected to be signed before the end of 2021.

French newspaper Les Echos said the European Union Commissioner for Industry, Thierry Breton, a former chief technology officer and former finance minister, is heading the project.

European airline Airbus chairs a constellation-building consortium, as well as French-Italian company Thales Alenia Space, Germany’s OHB SE, satellite operators Eutelsat Communications SA and SES SA, and the space companies Telespazio and Arianespace.

The satellite internet system is costing the European Union, airlines and the regional recovery fund about $ 7.3 billion, the French newspaper reported.

Europe’s possession of a constellation of satellites reduces its dependence on other countries whose space services excel.

The US space company SpaceX, founded by Musk in 2002, has launched at least 830 operational Starlink satellites into orbit for high-speed Internet service.

Starlink aims to circle the Earth with up to 42,000 satellites broadcasting high-speed Internet.

Musk said in November that the Starlink public beta, which is currently limited to the northern United States and southern Canada, could reach Europe by February 2021.

He wrote a tweet saying: “European countries will be able to arrive after we get the necessary approvals in February or March.”

UK-based OneWeb, the closest competitor to the Starlink project, plans to have 650 satellites into orbit by the end of the year.

The space company wants to provide global internet coverage with a total of 48,000 satellites, 6,000 more than SpaceX had planned for Starlink.

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