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SpaceX To Be Available On Mobiles In 2024

Next year SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk, will launch a joint venture with a U.S. carrier bringing Starlink satellite-to-phone service allowing texting, calling, and web browsing to any spot on the globe where the stars or sky is above a user (except open ocean).

Starlink enables users who live in isolated areas and cannot get high-speed internet to have internet services via a vast network of satellites. There is also a separate service for those in the middle of the ocean, Starlink’s maritime service.

In 2024, only texting will be supported initially, but in 2025, there are plans for Starlink to begin featuring voice and data service, plus IoT functions.

Additionally, the service will start with a connection over long-term evolution (LTE) or 4G, but it’s not certain how much bandwidth will be offered.

This week SpaceX launched its new website marketing its imminent Starlink service for mobile phones called “Starlink Direct to Cell” page with the tagline: “Seamless access to text, voice, and data for LTE phones across the globe.”

According to SpaceX, Starlink’s data service will be adequately speedy for web browsing, and that basic texting will be possible even during emergencies, something Apple had to go the extra mile to get that working.

Starlink’s service will not need any specific new hardware, unlike Apple’s solutions, because the new satellites will, in effect, act like cell towers minus the ones flying around in space rather than being mounted on a nearby building.

Smartphone users with an unobstructed sky view will enable any 4G capable phone and various others to connect.

To build out coverage areas, Elon Musk also said that more satellites will be launched next year and that this new service is needed in unpredictable coverage zones.

“We’re aiming for global coverage by the end of 2024. Starlink will be a game-changer for people who don’t have access to reliable or affordable internet.”

Already Starlink has inked contracts with carriers like Optus in Australia, Rogers in Canada, KDDI in Japan, One NZ in New Zealand, Salt in Switzerland, and T-Mobile in the USA, with more undoubtedly enlisting when the service is launched.

One tiny detail yet to be discussed is whether or not the company will have roaming available. Starlink has had to partner with carriers because each country keeps a firm control on wireless frequencies, and those partnerships, though invaluable, were expensive.

On the other hand, critics say most of the world has secure service and wonder who will be signing up for the expensive service.

“Most of the developed world is already well connected,” says Professor Sa’id Mosteshar of London University’s Institute of Space Policy and Law.

“They’re relying on a small share of the market for revenues.”

According to BBC, the satellite-to-phone service provider says it has 400,000 subscribers, businesses and households, in the 36 countries it presently covers – primarily in Europe, North America, and Australasia.

The “game-changer” aspect of this service is not the standard services it offers but really what it can do for people in war-torn areas like Ukraine or undergoing a natural disaster or political upheaval where cell towers have either been deactivated or are not providing coverage. Still, we will see how Starlink will be used and will fair when rolled out to the public and the world.

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