Starlink Lands Major Internet Contract in Mexico

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Elon Musk's Starlink secures an $89.80 million contract to provide free internet in Mexico, marking a significant expansion of its global satellite internet services.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador

11/15/2023.- Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during a morning conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico. EFE/Mario Guzman

Latin American Post Staff

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Leer en español: Starlink consigue un importante contrato de Internet en México

Satellite internet in Mexico

In a significant move to expand its international footprint, Starlink, the satellite internet arm of Elon Musk's sprawling business empire, has been awarded a lucrative contract to provide free internet services across Mexico. The agreement, valued at 1.56 billion pesos (approximately $89.80 million), positions Starlink as a key player in Mexico's ambitious digital strategy, aiming to bolster connectivity until the end of 2026.

Carlos Emiliano Calderon, the coordinator of Mexico's digital strategy, announced this development at a government press conference. He noted that Starlink emerged victorious in the public tender offer due to its competitive pricing, beating out other contenders in the bid to expand Mexico's internet infrastructure.

Bridging the Digital Divide: A Government's Initiative

This contract is part of a broader initiative by the Mexican government, which has inked deals with nine companies to provide free internet access nationwide. This move underscores a commitment to bridging the digital divide and ensuring that more citizens can access the rapidly evolving digital world.

Starlink's engagement in Mexico is broader than providing internet services to the public. The company will also deliver infrastructure support for Mexico's state energy firm, Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE), through December 2026. According to documents reviewed by Reuters, this separate contract is estimated to be valued between 887.5 million pesos and 1.8 billion pesos. This aspect of Starlink's involvement illustrates a deepening relationship between Musk's enterprise and Mexican state institutions.

The significance of Starlink's expansion into Mexico cannot be overstated. As a country with diverse geographical landscapes and varying levels of urbanization, Mexico presents unique challenges and opportunities for satellite internet providers. Starlink's technology, which offers high-speed internet through a constellation of low-Earth orbit satellites, is particularly well-suited to addressing these challenges. It can provide stable, high-bandwidth internet connections to remote and rural areas where traditional broadband infrastructure is nonexistent.

Milestone for Musk and Starlink

For Elon Musk and Starlink, the contract represents a significant milestone. It solidifies Starlink's position as a major player in the global satellite internet market and showcases the potential of new space-based technologies to transform traditional industries and public services. Musk's vision of a connected world, underpinned by cutting-edge space technology, materializes in tangible ways through such contracts.

Also read: Uber in Mexico: A Decade of Transformation and Impact on Everyday Life

The decision by the Mexican government to partner with Starlink also reflects a growing trend of governments seeking innovative solutions to longstanding challenges. In an era where internet connectivity is increasingly seen as an essential utility, akin to water and electricity, providing universal access is more important than ever. By leveraging Starlink's technology, Mexico aims to leapfrog conventional infrastructure limitations and rapidly scale up internet access for its citizens.