SpaceX’s Starlink is raising its prices. The satellite internet service provider's terminals will now cost 20% more, and monthly service fees are increasing by 10%. New customers will now have to spend over $700 in startup costs.
In an email to customers Tuesday, Starling said the “sole purpose of these adjustments is to keep pace with rising inflation," The Verge reported.
Those who pre-ordered a Starlink terminal at its previous price of $499 will be grandfathered in — sort of. They will now pay $549 up front. And the company is still offering its premium option, which costs $2,500 for a startup kit and $500 a month for service.
Tesla also hiked car prices twice this month, and though the company did not offer an official reason, the decision came after Elon Musk tweeted that inflation was putting pressure on both Tesla and SpaceX.
Musk has long been outspoken about his inflation fears, both in context of his companies and his political views. In November, he tweeted that inflation is “the most regressive tax at all,” and within the same time period he was picking fights with progressive Democrats about a proposed “wealth tax” on high-earning people like himself. In January 2021, Musk tweeted that keeping inflation low was critical to civilization’s survival.
But there could be another reason for the price increase: Starlink terminals have long cost SpaceX more to make than the asking price. The terminals reportedly cost about $1,000 to make, still 29% more than the upfront price it charges customers. At the Satellite 2021 conference, SpaceX CFO Bret Johnsen said that lowering production costs was the company’s “holy grail.”
A mix of factors likely contributed to the price increase. Inflation reached a 40-year high of 7.9% in February, but it's also possible that Starlink terminals weren't well-priced to begin with.