SpaceX to launch 60 satellites to build Internet in space
Elon Musk’s very active SpaceX company will begin a multi-year series of launches this week to boost 60 small communications satellites into low orbit. The project, called the Starlink Constellation, is one of several competitors, including OneWeb and Bezos’ Kuiper Systems, that seeks to build a network of satellites to offer high speed broadband service all across the Earth, without regard for proximity to network facilities (wires). TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: The rate of the space race is accelerating, with rockets launching every couple of weeks. As billions of private capital flow into building the space infrastructure, one must ask if space will be divided, regulated and policed. Increasing numbers of devices are circling the planet, likely leading to expensive collisions, “turf” battles and conflicts. The politicization of space will be a major issue in the coming decade.
Amazon Alexa now integrated with 60,000 smart home devices
Amazon announced that Alexa’s lead is even larger than competitors, connecting with 60,000 other devices. This figure represents 200% growth in the last 6 months alone. TechRadar
dis-rup-shun: In the wake of Google eliminating Nest’s “Works with Nest” program, it appears that Amazon and Google are taking separate paths regarding smart home devices. Google is seeking to more carefully curate its ecosystem, making it more difficult for vendors to include Nest devices in theirs, whereas Amazon’s “include everyone” approach will solidify Alexa as the defacto standard in voice assistants. Google is not doing its Nest line any favors.
AT&T pulling content from Netflix
AT&T announces that it will pull WarnerMedia content from other streaming services, such as Netflix, to bolster its own soon to be launched streaming service. The biggest title to be pulled is Friends. Gizmodo
dis-rup-shun: During the protracted Justice Department battle against AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, arguments were made that consolidation limits competition and competition is good for the consumer. It is yet to be seen how AT&T’s limiting the number of services that can display certain content benefits the consumer.
AT&T expects to pay 75% of its Time Warner acquisition debt by year end
AT&T stunned the market over three years ago by announcing its plans to acquire Time Warner for $40 billion. The company, over the next few years, made a number of other strategic changes to better service its large debt burden. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: The ability for acquisitions at the scale of $40 billiion to be ‘history’ in a matter of less than three years will encourage other mega-mergers. AT&T’s cash flow strength is impressive and, at its current pace, the company will be ready for an equally large acquisition by 2020. Perhaps the company will seek to check Amazon’s global domination by expanding into unlikely businesses such as hardware devices or delivery and global logistics.