Science and Tech
SpaceX launches 1st batch of satellites for mobile phone connectivity anywhere on Earth
NEW DELHI — Elon Musk-run aerospace company SpaceX has launched the first batch satellites to connect mobile phone users anywhere on the planet.
Six of the 21 new Starlink satellites just launched support the company’s new ‘Direct to Cell’ service announced in 2022.
“The six Starlink satellites on this mission with ‘Direct to Cell’ capability will further global connectivity and help to eliminate dead zones,” the company posted on X.
They’ll enable SpaceX to test it with ordinary 4G LTE-compatible phones on T-Mobile in the US, before the text messaging service goes live in multiple countries this year.
SpaceX will then add voice and data (and IoT devices) later in 2025 as more D2C satellites come online.
“This will allow for mobile phone connectivity anywhere on Earth,” posted Musk.
“Note, this only supports 7 MM per beam and the beams are very big, so while this is a great solution for locations with no cellular connectivity, it is not meaningfully competitive with existing terrestrial cellular networks,” the tech billionaire explained.
Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell capabilities enable ubiquitous access to texting, calling, and browsing wherever you may be on land, lakes, or coastal waters. Direct to Cell will also connect IoT devices with common LTE standards, according to the company.