Elon Musk is betting big on Canada. After a successful beta test of one of his SpaceX services in New Brunswick, he’s getting ready to take the service mass market. Now, people in Canada and other select countries can sign up for the launch. In this article, I’ll be exploring this new service — and whether you can invest in it.
Starlink taking pre-orders
In recent articles, I’ve discussed Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet service, which had been tested in New Brunswick and British Columbia. The service ran a beta test in rural NB, which was later expanded to BC. The beta tests were successful. Participants generally viewed Starlink favourably; one IT consultant said it improved his ability to do business.
Inspired by the success of these tests, Musk has decided to give Starlink a regular release. This month, he started accepting pre-orders for the service. For Canadians, the service costs $129 per month on top of $649 in hardware costs. It’s definitely not the cheapest internet service out there. But for rural residents who can’t get fast speeds through their ISP, it may be the best available option.
You can’t invest in it
If you’re excited about buying Starlink stock, I have some bad news for you: the company isn’t public.
Starlink is part of SpaceX, which is a private company — unlike the publicly traded Tesla. This means that right now, only Musk and his venture financiers can participate in its success. It’s quite possible that SpaceX will go public someday. After all, it recently got a massive venture funding round, and investors typically hope to take companies public eventually. But for now, us retail investors are out of luck.
You can invest in these Canadian companies shaping the future of wireless
So far, it looks like investing in Starlink is out. The company isn’t public and there aren’t any indirect plays you can buy either. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bet on the future of internet and wireless technology. There are plenty of Canadian companies doing great things in 5G, satellite internet, and other up-and-coming technologies. And the best part is, you can actually invest in them!
Consider Sierra Wireless (TSX:SW)(NASDAQ:SWIR) for example. It’s a Canadian wireless components maker that’s currently betting big on 5G. It develops 5G cellular routers and components for Internet of Things (IoT) devices. These are all exciting up-and-coming technologies. And Sierra is investing heavily in their future. Bringing 5G to IoT is a promising formula, as it combines two innovative technologies in one. And Sierra is on the forefront of this development.
You can also consider conventional telco stocks like Rogers Communications. The most “obvious” way to invest in 5G is to buy Telcos that bring 5G service to consumers. This is not some kind of rapid growth industry, but it’s one way to get a piece of the 5G pie. Rogers currently has Canada’s largest 5G network, so it has a head start in the rollout of this new standard. It’s definitely one to watch in the years ahead.