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SpaceX Quietly Launches New Website for Cellular Starlink Service

SpaceX unveils a new website to showcase its forthcoming Starlink mobile phone service. Image: Starlink

SpaceX has unveiled its new “Starlink Direct to Cell” service, aimed at providing cellular connectivity globally via its Starlink satellite network. The newly launched website promotes the service with the promise of “Seamless access to text, voice, and data for LTE phones across the globe.”

This innovative system will allow unmodified smartphones to connect directly to the Starlink satellite network.

Launch Timeline: Originally, SpaceX anticipated a launch this year in collaboration with T-Mobile, but updates have been sparse. The updated timeline indicates a 2024 launch for satellite-based text messaging, with voice and text capabilities following in 2025. Additionally, the system will support IoT device connectivity by 2025.

The competitive landscape: SpaceX’s new venture positions it as a competitor to Apple’s satellite-based Emergency SOS feature and AST Space Mobile’s similar service. One of the major selling points highlighted on SpaceX’s site is the system’s compatibility with existing LTE phones without any hardware, firmware, or app modifications.

Regulatory hurdles: However, there are hurdles ahead. Before the service’s official launch, SpaceX must obtain clearance from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While SpaceX is actively seeking this approval, it faces opposition from companies like Dish Network and Globalstar.

Technical Advancements: The Starlink Direct to Cell service plans to transform Starlink satellites into space-based cellphone towers using an “advanced eNodeB modem.” This would enable network integration akin to conventional roaming.

SpaceX is looking to collaborate with other cellular providers and has included a contact form on its site for potential partnership inquiries. Alongside this new service, SpaceX has revamped the entire design of its official Starlink.com website.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

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