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Home » SpaceX Unveils Direct To Cell Starlink to Offer Satellite Cellular Connectivity Globally

SpaceX Unveils Direct To Cell Starlink to Offer Satellite Cellular Connectivity Globally

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SpaceX has unveiled a new “Direct To Cell” page on the Starlink website, outlining an upcoming capability to provide cellular connectivity anywhere on Earth using satellites with direct-to-cell technology. This will enable ubiquitous texting by 2024, followed by voice, data, and IoT everywhere by 2025.

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Starlink-Direct-To-Cell

The page details how future Starlink satellites equipped with direct-to-cell hardware will be able to communicate directly with standard mobile phones on the ground, acting as cell towers in space. This will allow coverage even in remote regions where ground-based infrastructure is absent.

The initial Starlink direct-to-cell satellites will launch aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rockets, then later on Starship. Once on orbit, they will interconnect via laser links to the existing broadband Starlink constellation already encircling the globe. This laser backhaul architecture will allow the direct-to-cell satellites to relay signals worldwide.

SpaceX lists T-Mobile, Rogers, KDDI, Optus, One NZ, and Salt as carriers that have already signed on to utilize the direct-to-cell service. By partnering with major providers, SpaceX aims to make the transition seamless for end users as they move between terrestrial cellular and satellite networks.

According to the page, performance should enable reliable texting globally by 2024, followed by voice, data, and IoT everywhere by 2025. This will finally close the connectivity gap for ships, planes, and remote regions lacking traditional infrastructure.

The Direct To Cell page demonstrates how Starlink’s capabilities continue growing exponentially in scope. From broadband internet, the network expands into cellular and IoT connectivity via space-based infrastructure. This further cements Starlink as an unprecedented communications platform in terms of reach.

With aviation, maritime, backhaul, and now cellular services in the roadmap, Starlink is poised to provide true global coverage within this decade. For citizens, companies, governments, and military groups, Starlink aims to become the one-stop shop for communications of all types anywhere on the planet and even in space.

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