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Home5G newsSpaceX Launches First Direct-to-Cell Starlink Satellites

SpaceX Launches First Direct-to-Cell Starlink Satellites

Exciting News from SpaceX!  The first mission of 2024 saw the launch of six Starlink satellites with direct-to-cell capabilities, a game-changer for connectivity in remote areas.

SpaceX and T-Mobile aim to eliminate cellular dead zones, starting with the U.S. The initial focus is on text messaging, with voice and data coverage following as more satellites are launched. The service extends to IoT devices, offering comprehensive connectivity.

These innovative satellites act as space-based cell towers, equipped with advanced eNodeB modems for seamless integration. Compatible with 4G LTE devices, the service utilizes partner spectrum for operation across different countries.

Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder, highlights the satellites’ capability of supporting about 7 Mb per beam, emphasizing their role in areas lacking cellular connectivity. While not a direct competition to existing terrestrial networks, it’s a groundbreaking solution for remote locations.

T-Mobile’s President, Mike Katz, sees this as a significant step toward eliminating dead zones, covering over half a million square miles in the U.S. without cellular coverage. The collaboration aims to keep customers connected, even in the most isolated locations.

Kate Tice, SpaceX senior quality systems engineering manager, emphasizes the potential life-saving impact, especially in emergency situations and remote areas. The service is poised to bring peace of mind to users, from hikers to emergency responders.

This achievement follows Elon Musk’s announcement of the collaboration with T-Mobile in August 2022, reaching a milestone after a late 2023 target. The partnership includes working with global providers like KDDI, Optus, One NZ, and Rogers.

Satellite-to-cell technology is gaining traction in the industry, with Apple’s emergency messaging service and other companies like Lynk and AST SpaceMobile showcasing similar capabilities. The space race for enhanced connectivity is on! 🚀🌐

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