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SpaceX wants to bring Starlink to smartphones: phone calls, messages and satellite internet


Starlink could soon offer satellite connection services for smartphones as well. The division that answers to Elon Musk’s SpaceX has filed an application to obtain a license from the Federal Communications Commission.


At the same time, SpaceX is also working on a technology that allows smartphones to interface directly with the Starlink satellite network, without the need to use receivers or other accessories to connect to the phone.

The application filed with the FCC mentions the possibility of equipping second-generation Starlink satellites with direct-to-cellular hardware , which would essentially allow the phones to connect to the satellite network to make calls, send messages and browse the web. This would be an extremely more sophisticated solution than the limited satellite connectivity available to some new generation phones (such as the iPhone 14) – which only provides for the possibility of sending emergency messages in dangerous situations.

As for the performance of the internet connection that Starlink satellites could offer to smartphones, the company speaks of a maximum download speed of 18.3 Mbps (much lower than connections via 4G and 5G).


Today, the Starlink satellite constellation has about 3,500 units in low orbit, but SpaceX intends to launch another 7,500 by the end of the decade.



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