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Guest: Charles Miller; Topics: Charles discusses his new company, Lynk Global * see https://lynk.world), space entrepreneurship, satellite history, satellite to mobile phone and more & The Charles Miller road to being a space entrepreneur.
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We welcomed Charles Miller back to the show for a two segment 1 hour 28 minute discussion regarding his new company Lynk Global, satellite to mobile phone technology and communication, space entrepreneurship, how Charles thought of and created Lynk and the needed technology, plus how to become a space entrepreneur. I have taken the liberty of repeating the tags and key words below to help summarize our discussion in the order topics were discussed. Other parts of our discussion will be added to the discussion.
The key words and tags to help summarize this program ate Lynk Global, serial space entrepreneur, NanoRacks, NASA, commercial space, space advocacy, mobile phones, cell towers, satellite to mobile phone, roam to network, wifi, Lynk pricing, March Storm, Lynk satellite network, 100 microsats, LEO, 500 KM orbit, onboard propulsion for station keeping, MOMENTUS Space, 5G, frequency range, Moon and Mars service, ground stations, ride share launches, SpaceX, Cygnus, regulations, FCC, licensing, innovation, public safety benefit, market growth, global cell and smartphone market, latency concerns, Solstar Space, wifi hub in space compared to Lynk technology, possible IPO, ITAR concerns, Lynk concept to development history, CSI, nansoats, cubesats, Africa model, smartphone design and technology, China Belt and Road Policy, Hobsons Choice, Lynk hiring and interns, the Charles Miller road to space entrepreneurship, Iridium story, Steve Blank Innovation and Entrepreneurship, ISU, SEDS, emergency alerts, everywhere 911, instant network backup, connecting rural areas, supply chains, agriculture, and economic growth.
For most of the first part of our program, Charles talked about his new company, the need for the service, how the concept and technology were developed, their successful demo test with a text message and more. I asked Charles to help explain how the service he was getting ready to provide (still in development and testing) would work using two examples. The first example was my own crappy Verizon cell service with crowded towers and often no service or dropped calls every few minutes. Charles said that for now, they were not gearing up for people with poor service because they still had some service. Listen to our discussion. It was most interesting and enlightening.
My second example was a friend living in a rural area with virtually no service. This was more the target market for Lynk. Charles described how one would be able through roaming connect with their satellites to have global service. He fully explained roaming, how it works, he offered some examples of roaming fees and costs, plus he talked about a roaming network having to have an agreement to roam on a specific cell network such as that of the major cell phone companies. After Charles guided us through this process, he talked about parts of the world with no or very marginal service. He mentioned the African model along with Mexico and South America. He said people could buy a reconditioned smart phone for a few dollars but without service or connectivity, why buy it in the first place. This is where Lynk might come in and ride to the rescue. This was a great discussion. Share your thoughts with by posting on our blog for this program../
Another part of our first segment discussion that stood out for me was when Charles was asked about the regulation risk and the regulatory environment. Also, I was taken by his story about his development of the company. He asked his tech people if a satellite could talk to a mobile phone. They said no but looked into it. Three weeks later they came back with a solution. Charles had a lot to say about this event, innovation, how entrepreneurs can solve such problems to start the company down the road to success. Toward the end of the first segment, Charles was talking about the market size and potential, plus their expected market growth. Given The Space Show has done several shows regarding satellite ground stations, I also found it interesting that they were both developing ground stations but renting time on others. At some point the company may be doing more and more ground stations to better control technology and cost.
We started the second segment with a continuation from th the first segment of how Covid-19 impacted his work. Charles had mentioned the impact on remote work. After the conclusion of this topic, Charles talked about his earlier company, Constellation Services (CSI), NanoRacks, cubesats, nanosats and more. It was a great story so don't miss it. The time line he presented was fundamental to the story and industry development. Listen to what he said about opportunities in other countries. He also mentioned Mexico, South America and the Chinese Belt and Road policy. Charles was then asked about hiring and interns, both of which Lynk was doing at this time.
Charlotte asked Charles what triggered him to go on his space entrepreneur path. He told us a very interesting story, then he pointed to specific stories and incidents that people should learn about as he mentioned options to college as an example. One such story mentioned was the Iridium story. He also talked about reading and suggested it to be as valuable as college, maybe more so in some respects. He recommended reading the Steve Blank blog and books on innovation, entrepreneurship and related topics. You can find his information at www.steveblank.com. Charles recommended asking the questions by email and when on a college campus to look into and if possible join SEDS. Near the end of the program, Linda asked Charles if existing smartphones had the technology to work with his business concept. Charles said yes for now but he mentioned he was working tech upgrades and patents that he would then work to get the phone manufacturers to incorporate in their product.
In summarizing the program, Charles talked about three transitional areas for his business. The first was the use of emergency alerts which he discussed in detail. The second was the establishment of everywhere 911. The third included the opportunity to have an instant network backup. Charles then spent a few minutes elaborating on the three goals for his system. As we were ending, we talked about March Storm but Charles said he was devoting all his time to Lynk.
Please post your comments/questions for Charles on our blog for this show. You can reach Charles through his company website above or me.