Elon Musk’s Starlink wants to provide satellite broadband service directly to mobile devices. Know all the details.
Apple has been making headlines with its Emergency SOS by Satellite feature on the iPhone 14 series, and it’s proving to be quite useful. However, Elon Musk’s Starlink wants to use its satellite service for something even better – providing Internet connectivity directly to smartphones. Musk, who has been in the news recently for his aggressive Twitter moves, now wants to provide data connections directly to smartphones, without additional gear.
Based on a report from CNET, it is said that SpaceX has now received permission to deploy 7500 additional satellites in low earth orbit, thereby expanding the coverage of Starlink Broadband satellites to more than 10000 satellites in the next decade. To provide smartphones, SpaceX will partner with T-Mobile in the US. Once the service goes live, T-Mobile users in the US can access internet connections even in remote locations.
Starlink broadband directly to smartphones
SpaceX has already filed for approval with the US Federal Communications Commission to fit several of its Starlink satellites with “mobile-specific” equipment. This will allow smartphone users in remote locations to access the Internet without the need for separate gear. Currently, Starlink subscribers need to set up a dish antenna as well as a modem and router to access the Internet in remote locations.
Prior to this, SpaceX and T-Mobile had announced this partnership to allow mobile data subscribers to access the Internet in remote locations. The project will connect cell phones directly to Starlink satellites, eliminating the need for cell towers in remote locations. The service will initially allow text messaging during its launch in 2023. Later, voice and data services will be allowed as well.
Currently, Apple uses direct satellite communication with its Emergency SOS service for the iPhone 14 series. Apple’s service only allows it to be used in emergencies, sending small messages to Apple’s call centers via satellites. The call center relays the emergency message to the rescue services. Apple is offering it for free for the next two years and will charge its customers thereafter.