Starlink to Offer Space Broadband Directly to Phone from 2024


Starlink will start the ‘Direct to Cell’ service in 2024. Users will be able to get seamless access to text, voice, and data if they have an LTE phone. It is a more natural progression towards boosting the adoption of satellite connectivity services by consumers. The company has shared the details about the service that will launch next year on its website.

Starlink said, “Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell capabilities enable ubiquitous access to texting, calling, and browsing wherever you may be on land, lakes, or coastal waters.”

To be precise, the texting services under the ‘Direct-to-Cell’ service from Starlink will start in 2024. Whereas the voice and data along with IoT connectivity services will start in 2025. The company has said that ‘Direct-to-Cell’ will connect IoT devices with the common LTE standards. Regardless of the location of the consumer, if the sky is visible, any LTE phone will be able to connect and work with the ‘Direct-to-Cell’ service from Starlink.

The company has mentioned that there would be no hardware or firmware changes required for the technology to work. Users won’t even need to download any special app on their phone. It will be a very convenient connectivity service for consumers, especially the ones who are travelling to remote locations where mobile networks are not available.

The company said, “Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell capability have an advanced eNodeB modem onboard that acts like a cellphone tower in space, allowing network integration similar to a standard roaming partner.”

SpaceX will launch the ‘Direct to Cell’ satellites of Starlink using the Falcon 9 rocket and then Starship. Once the satellites reach the orbit, they will directly connect over laser backhaul to the Starlink constellation to provide global connectivity. Starlink has partnered with telecom service providers globally to offer this service to their consumers as well. Companies such as T-Moblie (USA), Optus (Australia), Rogers (Canada), KDDI (Japan), One NZ (New Zealand), and Salt (Switzerland) have partnered with Starlink.