Starlink V2, SpaceX’s proprietary network of satellites, can connect directly to smartphones. It should increase coverage in remote areas. T-Mobile will offer this in the US, but SpaceX is also looking at cooperating with providers in other countries.
“Starlink V2, which will be launched next year, will communicate directly with mobile phones”, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter. These direct connections should provide speeds of 2-4 Mbit/s per “cell area”. The existing Starlink cells cover an area of approximately 379 km². It is not clear how large these areas are with the Starlink V2. This in any case makes it unsuitable for mobile internet, but the network does provide enough bandwidth for calling and texting in areas where there is usually no mobile coverage. And if it’s quiet in a coverage area, the CEO added, customers might also be able to “play some videos.”
In a presentation, Musk says the Starlink V2 satellites are much larger than the current generation and can be used from the PCS . spectrum. The CEO said during a press conference that they will be provided with five-meter antennas to enable mobile communication.
US telecom provider T-Mobile will offer this functionality in the US, The company announces. According to the service provider, his network will soon provide coverage in “nearly the entire United States,” even in places previously inaccessible to “traditional” mobile phone signals. The provider also plans to provide coverage in Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico, and “territorial waters.” Initially, the company will use Starlink V2 for SMS, MMS and “shared messaging applications”. The provider plans to add support for voice and data calls at a later date.
Satellite communication is expected to be “available as a test version” of T-Mobile before the end of 2023, after SpaceX launches the first necessary satellites. The service will be available free of charge to T-Mobile’s “most popular subscriptions” in the US. Some subscriptions require additional payment for the satellite connection. However, the provider does not yet share the additional cost.
SpaceX and T-Mobile also indicate their desire to work with mobile service providers from other countries to make connections available in other regions. The company refers to “joint roaming” on the Starlink network for customers of various service providers. Starlink V2 communications must be timely Now also available for TeslasSo they can send emergency messages.
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