Starlink is set to revolutionize mobile connectivity by offering direct service to cell phones via its satellites starting next year.
The global communications landscape is on the verge of a major transformation. Starlink, in collaboration with various operators, aims to expand its reach by making satellite connectivity accessible directly on mobile phones.
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 22, 2023
Starlink: Accelerating satellite launches for direct connectivity
According to a recent report, SpaceX is ramping up its launch schedule to deploy as many Starlink satellites as possible this year and next. The goal includes an ambitious attempt to complete 100 flights in the next two and a half months. For 2024, the program promises to be even busier with 12 flights per month, for a total of 144 missions for the year.
A SpaceX spokesperson told Ars Technica: “We will also explore direct cell communications via Starlink, a key feature that will be added next year with these 144 flights. »
To clarify, as previously promised, 2024 is expected to see the initial public launch of the direct text service to cells only. The release of the full version of the LTE satellite service will take place in 2025. According to the Ars Technica report, later capabilities require physically larger satellites. In the meantime, the company had to design “intermediate” sized units, larger than older models, but capable of flying on Falcon 9 rockets.
T-Mobile’s “most popular” plans (likely T-Mobile’s Magenta MAX) will be eligible to access the Starlink connection at no additional cost. While customers with cheaper plans may pay extra to access it. However, Starlink has already reached agreements with several other operators around the world: Optus in Australia, Rogers in Canada, KDDI in Japan, One NZ in New Zealand and Salt in Switzerland. Still, the only launch schedule we currently have is from T-Mobile in the United States.