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Google Wins Cloud Deal From Elon Musk’s SpaceX for Starlink Internet Connectivity

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Google announced on Thursday its cloud unit has won a deal to supply computing and networking resources to SpaceX, Elon Musk’s privately held space-development company, to help deliver internet service through its Starlink satellites.

SpaceX will install ground stations at Google data centers that connect to SpaceX’s Starlink satellites, with an eye toward providing fast internet service to enterprises in the second half of this year.

The deal represents a victory for Google as it works to take share from Amazon and Microsoft in the fast-growing cloud computing market.

Investors are counting on Google’s nascent cloud business to boost growth in the event that its advertising business slows down. While Google’s cloud business delivered only 7 percent of parent company Alphabet’s total revenue in the first quarter, it grew almost 46 percent year over year, compared with growth of 32 percent for Google’s advertising services.

It’s also an unusual type of deal for Google — or any other cloud provider — as it relies heavily on Google’s internal network that connects data centers, rather than simply outsourcing functions like computing power or data storage to these data centers.

“This is one of a kind. I don’t believe something like this has been done before,” said Bikash Koley, Google’s head of global networking. “The real potential of this technology became very obvious. The power of combining cloud with universal secure connectivity, it’s a very powerful combination.”

“They chose us because of the quality of our network and the distribution and reach of our network,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google’s cloud group.

In SpaceX’s case, there is no need for cell towers. Instead, customers’ devices will communicate to satellites, and then the satellites will link up to Google data centers. Inside those data centers, customers can run applications quickly using Google’s cloud services, or they can send the information on to other companies’ services that are geographically nearby, enabling low latency so there’s minimal lag. Data then comes right back through the Google data centers to satellites, and then down to end users.

The deal could last seven years, according to a person who declined to be named discussing confidential terms.

Starlink’s service might be valuable for consumers living in places with limited internet access, as well as businesses and government organizations running projects in remote areas, Kurian said. He anticipates that having Starlink draw on Google’s cloud network will lead organizations to deploy applications inside Google’s cloud to take advantage of high speeds.

Under the partnership, SpaceX will place its Starlink ground stations within Google data center properties, which can help the service support businesses requiring cloud-based applications.

Starlink is in the process of launching its satellite broadband internet service, which can reach customers without ground-based connections and is one of several space-based systems.

“Combining Starlink’s high-speed, low-latency broadband with Google’s infrastructure and capabilities provides global organizations with the secure and fast connection that modern organizations expect,” said SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell.

“We are proud to work with Google to deliver this access to businesses, public sector organizations, and many other groups operating around the world.”

Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president at Google Cloud, said the tie-up would help ensure “that organizations with distributed footprints have seamless, secure, and fast access to the critical applications and services they need to keep their teams up and running.”

This new capability for enterprise customers is expected to be available in the second half of 2021, the companies said in a joint statement.

SpaceX is seeking regulatory approval for broadband service for both consumers and businesses around the world from thousands of satellites.

Google is not the only cloud provider to be working with Starlink. In October, Microsoft said it was working with SpaceX to bring Starlink internet connectivity to modular Azure cloud data centers that customers can deploy anywhere. SpaceX would still rely on Google data centers in that scenario, a person familiar with the matter said. (Data would travel from the customer’s Azure modular data center through the Starlink satellite to Google’s data center and then out to other cloud services — and return in the opposite direction. Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Initially, SpaceX will deploy the ground stations at Google data centers in the U.S., but the company wants to expand internationally, the person said.

SpaceX is one of the world’s most valuable privately held start-ups, having raised money at a $74 billion valuation in February, CNBC reported. Google invested $900 million in SpaceX in 2015. SpaceX has launched over 1,500 Starlink satellites into orbit, and last week the company said more than 500,000 people have ordered or made a deposit for the internet service.

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Tesla Has the Highest PE Ratio Among the World’s Ten Largest Companies

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Using a stock’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is one of the quickest ways to learn whether a company is overvalued or undervalued. If a company’s stock is undervalued, it may be a good investment based on the current price. If it is overvalued, then investor should consider whether the company’s growth prospects justify the stock price.

According to data presented by StockApps.com, Tesla has the highest PE ratio among the world’s top ten companies by market cap. Last week, the price-to-earnings ratio of the tech giant hit 473 or seven times more than the second-ranked Amazon.

Tesla`s PE Ratio Almost Halved in a Year

The PE ratio is calculated as a stock’s current share price divided by earnings per share in the last twelve months. A high PE ratio could mean a company’s stock is overpriced or that investors are expecting high growth rates in the future. On the other hand, a low PE can indicate either that a company may be undervalued or that it is doing exceptionally well relative to its past trends.

Although Tesla has the highest price-to-earnings ratio among the world’s ten largest companies, the YCharts data showed its PE ratio almost halved in the past year.

In October 2020, the PE ratio of the tech giant stood at around 875. By the end of the year, this figure jumped to over 1,300. In January, Tesla’s PE ratio hit an all-time high of 1,401 and then dropped to 680 by the end of June. Statistics show the company’s price-per-earnings ratio more than halved in the following week, falling to around 350 in the first days of July.

Although this value jumped to 473 over the past three months, that is still 45% less than the PE ratio measured in October 2020.

Far below Tesla, Amazon ranked as the company with the second-highest PE ratio among the top ten. The price-per-earnings ratio of the eCommerce giant stood at 58.1 last week, significantly down from 95.8 a year ago.

As the company with the third-largest PE ratio among the top ten, Microsoft saw its PE ratio slightly increase from 35.5 to 37.4 during the last year.

Health Equity the Company with the Highest PE Ratio Globally, 6,759 as of Last Week

Although Tesla has convincingly the highest price-to-earnings ratio among the top ten companies, the tech giant ranked on the thirty-eight place of the global PE ratio list.

According to MarketBeat data, HealthEquity has the highest PE ratio globally. Last week, the price-to-earnings ratio of the US health care company stood at 6,759 or fourteen times more than Tesla.

The US transportation manufacturing corporation, The Greenbrier Companies ranked second, with a PE ratio of 4,565.

American online retailer of pet food, Chewy, and medical devices manufacturers NuVasive and Tandem Diabetes Care close the top five list, with PE ratios of 3,273, 2,879 and 2,544, respectively.

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Facebook and Comic Republic Release #NoFalseNewsZone Comic Book Series in Nigeria

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Facebook and Comic Republic have announced the launch of #NoFalseNewsZone online comic book, an exciting and educational comic series designed to help people think critically about the messages they see and read online. The series helps readers to identify false news and what they can do to help minimise its spread.

The online comic book, which comes in a three-part series will feature the stories of an experienced nurse, an intern reporter and a university student who are on their personal journey to educate people on how to curb false news, and also join the fight against misinformation to help create a #NoFalseNewsZone online.

“Facebook is excited to launch its #NoFalseNewsZone online comic book in collaboration with Comic Republic. We’ve come up with relatable and exciting stories to keep people entertained as we educate them on how to minimise its spread,” Oluwasola Obagbemi, Facebook’s Corporate Communications Manager for Anglophone West Africa said, while commenting on the launch. “As a pioneer of innovation for human connection through social presence, Facebook has given people the power to build communities and bring the world closer together in new and profound ways. Our hope is that with this online comic book, people will make informed decisions by thinking critically about what they read, trust and share,” Obagbemi added.

Speaking on the collaboration, Comic Republic CEO, Jide Martin said: “In a world where we are online for everything essential, it is now critical that we protect our new reality. More than ever, with just one tap online, you can either make or mar a life. As such, we must all be accountable for the information we share on social media. Comic Republic’s mission is rooted in storytelling for a cause, so the #NoFalseNewsZone campaign is right up our alley and such a thrill to work on. I urge people to read and pass it on but most of all, really think before you share unverified messages with their contacts. We don’t need superpowers to do good.”

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E-commerce

What Limits E-commerce Growth in Certain Parts of the World?

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E-commerce - Investors King

E-commerce growth is predicted to reach the pre-pandemic level by the end of this year. However, Fast-Growing and Emerging regions remain excluded from access to global e-commerce due to prevailing constraints on cross-border shopping. 

With global e-commerce sales predicted to reach $4.9 trillion by the end of this year, e-commerce has shaped new consumer habits when it comes to shopping preferences. Despite these predictions, e-commerce growth and accessibility in certain regions is still off-limits due to existing constraints that could be solved—with the right timing and approach.

In the first quarter of 2021, global e-commerce recorded $876 billion in sales—up 38% year-over-year, with predictions of a continued growth of 24.5% by 2025. Yet, the surge has not been as widespread as it would seem at a first glance. Huge numbers of the population in Fast-Growing and Emerging markets are unbanked—as many as 50% of Africans are still financially excluded, South and Central Americans following close behind with 38%. Because of this, certain regions are facing limitations when it comes to cross-border e-commerce.

Frank Breuss, CEO and co-founder of Nikulipe, a Fintech company creating and connecting Local Payment Methods to access Emerging and Fast-Growing Markets, points out that, while each Emerging Market has its own specific issues around cross-border payments, there are three main ones that stand out as most prevalent.

“Problems that are stifling growth in Fast-Growing and Emerging markets have been around for ages. Variety of payment cards, country-specific legislation and currency restrictions, as well as logistics are among the key issues hindering e-commerce growth. For example, while payment cards like Visa and Mastercard are widely available in North America or Western Europe, they’re not easily accessible in Fast-Growing and Emerging markets. Even if consumers have payment cards, these are often local ones, intended for domestic use only, meaning they cannot be used to purchase goods from international merchants.”

Breuss elaborates that the situation is similar with bank transfers. For those who have accounts with local banks, these financial institutions, in most cases, are not well-connected to the banking network internationally, making cross-border bank transfers very slow and expensive.

Country-specific legislations or the lack of them are also ongoing struggles for Fast-Growing and Emerging markets. Operational payment limits, where payment orders can be placed only on working days during certain hours, is something that Latin America deals with. Fragmented market is an ongoing headache for Africa—with over 40 different currencies and regulators, it poses hurdles to international merchants. According to Breuss, even if a consumer is able to purchase goods or services off an international website, the merchant might not have easy access to the payment itself.

Logistics issues like shipment restrictions or custom hold ups are another additional battle for many Emerging markets, adds Breuss. International merchants have to figure out ways to get goods to their clients in these regions in time, as well as overcome customs holdups, which add up to delays.

To help solve these issues for international Merchants and at the same time include as many consumers in global e-commerce as possible is not an easy task—it takes time, local know-how and perseverance, Breuss notes.

“A certain lack of clear regulations and laws in Emerging Markets up the complexity of introducing new solutions. First of all, it’s key to understand the markets and their nuances, in order to offer relevant local payment methods that are suitable for consumer needs in each market. Partnering up with reliable payment solutions providers could aid in handling money flow from Fast-Growing and Emerging markets back to the merchant.”

With issues like payment and card limitations as well as logistics, Fast-Growing and Emerging Markets are ripe for new solutions. Helping solve the long-lasting issues, could eventually draw exclusion from global e-commerce to a close. If consumers continue to show their wish to shop internationally, more merchants will try to find a solution to meet the demand—and consequently, bring more pressure on legislation to adopt the needed changes. Now, with the consumers in Emerging Markets doing exactly that, it seems to be the right time to start solving the complexities.

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