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SpaceX and Google? Google Cell Phones?


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In a previous article and opinion I posted, I went into the backing with billions of SpaceX by Google and financial industry icon Fidelity to do Internet by satellite. They are betting that Musk can cause the right micro satellites to be manufactured by third parties using his designs, that he can launch as a partner with Google. One thing immediately jumps out to any casual reader. In that last article about strictly satellites and Internet, they pointed out the biggest risk:

 

"Here's the problem for SpaceX, according to The Information: It doesn't have a license to use the spectrum it would need to actually beam the Internet down to the masses. If it can't get the spectrum, and if the laser option doesn't pan out, SpaceX will have a tough time developing a sufficiently robust satellite network. But if can secure some spectrum rights, SpaceX could combine its manufacturing prowess and its space know-how in ways that Google could only dream of. And that's why Google appears so bullish on SpaceX right now."

Bear that quote about spectrum in mind in reading this next article, I will get back to how I believe they are connected.:

 

"Google could become a wireless carrier. Here’s what that means for you."

 

Excerpt:

 

"First things first: What is Google planning?

 

The company hasn't confirmed anything, but reports suggest that Google wants to offer its own brand of cellular service by partnering with Sprint and T-Mobile, the nation's third- and fourth-largest carriers, respectively. This means you'd buy minutes and data from Google, but it would all ride over the other two companies' pipes.

 

Is this like Google Fiber for cellphones?

 

Not quite. With Google Fiber, Google is connecting homes to high-speed fiber-optic infrastructure that, in many places, the search giant laid down itself. But in this case, it doesn't appear that Google is building its own cell towers; it would simply resell Sprint and T-Mobile under the Google banner.

Would this shake up the wireless industry?

 

Google probably hopes so, but unlike the wired broadband industry that Google Fiber has been so successful at disrupting, the wireless industry is actually fairly competitive already. You have four major national carriers that are engaged in a major battle over pricing and customers right now. You also have dozens if not hundreds of smaller carriers who operate on the same basis as Google's rumored plan — paying the national carriers a wholesale rate and then repackaging the service into a different product. These piggyback carriers are called MVNOs, short for mobile virtual network operators."

 

That whole article is here with more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/01/22/google-could-become-a-wireless-carrier-heres-what-that-means-for-you/

 

OK, so why am I posting? And why in an investment and money thread? Because SpaceX looms as the next big stock when it IPOs. It is owned privately by Musk and a few inside investors. This deal ramps things up quite a bit. See, if Google partners with on or two of the major carriers of wireless like Sprint and/or T-Mobile, the problem would be over if part of Google's plan is to get access to the frequency spectrum each has to provide them with Cell service from the sky in exchange for part of the contract involving Google getting to get the big data from all those calls. Let's remember that T-Mobile has the same spectrum as AT&T, and Sprint is CDMA like Verizon. I see the connection and bring it up here for discussion or amusement. You see, the usual easy blasts about vaporware or never coming to pass like AT&T has a reputation of doing, or Electric cars like all of the EV competitors who went bankrupt when Tesla went big, don't apply to Musk future planning.

 

For example many thought Musk released all his patents from the goodness of his heart to get rid of those nasty polluting fossil fuel vehicles faster by creating competition. ;) That part worked. Notice the announcements from several big auto manufacturers are announcing only now about having a consumer priced EV to compete with Musk in 2017. That will happen too, but that is merely the tactical thinking. The long term strategic plan is becoming clear to me. He is having difficulty getting enough batteries just for his current sales and needs the battery Megafactory to meet today's needs. By seemingly overnight causing the demand for batteries to quadruple (EVs the big automakers are now confident about producing with real Tesla like range using Tesla engineering free) the first Megafactory will make money hand over fist and the full impact of the economies of scale happen in three or four years instead of five to ten, because there will be more Megafactories and new improved battery technology because the money is there. That makes the batteries substantially cheaper not only by volume, but all the energy storage engineers now have a real engineer, not numbnut CEOs with no vision, But Musk himself, to listen to any breakthroughs and put them into practice immediately. The development money is emerging as we speak. Stealerships make their big money on service departments. No oil, filters, engine coolant, mufflers, injectors, plugs, ignition wires, exhaust catalytic convertors, no exposed battery cables to corrode and maintain, no acid batteries or flammable fuels handling. In other words, not much for Stealerships to do. Tires, brakes, and wheel bearings can be serviced by any mechanics shop.

 

As the dealers realize the biz just isn't lucrative any more they will have to fight better for buyers and not try manipulating them because the next dealer will too. But they will last for awhile with inferior quality control as the EVs begin to outnumber the ICE vehicles.

 

Tesla's vehicles depend on Internet for updates. He already makes most of Tesla parts in house. His cars won't rust, they are aluminum! He also needs real time fast Internet and the best way to do both Internet and Cell phones is to have LEO satellites in swarms across the globe. To do that he needs bands and frequencies allotted. He has Google for making the Internet almost free and free in some cases if they are allowed to parse the big data in each car and call and Internet connection. Trust me, the world will buy Google and give up their privacy, and the poorest nations and Americans will, like the Google fiber, offer free service at substantially slower speeds than I'd like, but are twice what most get with DSL. In the cities where Google has their fiber service they offer free 5 mbs service with a one time $300.00 installation fee.

 

If Google partnered with Sprint and/or AT&T to get access to their frequencies, they could do the same with satellite cell and Internet. Cell latency is actually less with direct LEO transit times round trip that latency on wireless ground towers and switching trunks.

 

It would put SpaceX/Google in the enviable position of bypassing the GEO orbit big very expensive satellites big companies use with very high latency, with a relatively cheap satellite systems for phones and Internet world wide. Much cheaper than maintaining the infrastructure of old technology of cell towers and giant communications satellites that are hard to put in orbit and extremely expensive. Think of the current big expensive GEO orbit satellites as the first cellphones. Big, terribly expensive, and subject to tower deployments and maintenance. But not much incentive to improve since no company like Hughes has their own working rockets and launch vehicles. Let alone being the only heavy lift American made rocket engines used by US companies. The ULA (United Launch Alliance - Read Boeing and Lockheed) depends on Russian rocket engines. When relations with Putin soured, they immediately went on the defensive citing that they had a two year supply of Rocket engines on hand.

 

Boeing and Lockheed scoffed at SpaceX. They said that there is no way Musk and his team could launch a heavy lift rocket in five years. He beat their estimate and made history by becoming the first private company to launch a spacecraft and dock with the ISS.

 

So if you don't see the misses and the braggadocio of the established vested interests in Communications, Internet, and Space, then look at how far Musk has brought the tech up to date in just a few years, and disrupted major markets, he is still doing it.

 

And if you don't see that all of his endeavors from satellites and space, to EVs and cars, to Solar panel technology and battery solar systems to backup batteries in homes and in space, you are missing the picture I'm painting. But that is OK. From 2003 to 2008 folks here and in the media said that EVs can never come to pass. When we all passed around links to the video "Who killed the Electric car?" in 2003, because we saw Musk lay out his goals and time estimates all thought him a pump and dump, a fake, it can't be done. They even said he was faking the videos of his first EV the Tesla Roadster. When I posted a video of the first Motor Trend and Car and Driver magazine test drives and reviews, everyone was stunned.

 

Now, SpaceX is proven, and is the only company being mentioned that has not IPO'd yet.

 

That is why I am posting how I think all these seemingly different directions for Musk, (giving away his patents, developing the Dragon Mars capable capsule concept, and launching grocery runs for the ISS while testing their tail down whole spacecraft landing technology that they are almost able to do but still crashing in R&D only of tail landing, making a battery manufactory that exceeds the output of all the world's current Li-ion battery manufactories combined, the free 20 minute soon to be 10 minute Supercharger travel network, and their soon to be announced battery back up modules for Solar City Solar installations and likely for folks like me that will already have their own solar energy systems in place, but are currently using a Propane tank and conventional 15kw whole house genset like I now use.

 

So with all the Space hubbub and funding, and how it all obviously to me ties in with the whole Musk strategic planning, if you are looking for a big investment to ride long term, I doubt any of us could do better than SpaceX.

 

Or they will go broke and we all lose our collective axes. :(-_-:lol:

 

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