Elon Musk’s SpaceX achieves a groundbreaking milestone as Starlink satellites, designed for direct connection to mobile devices, are successfully launched. The innovative Direct to Cell function promises to revolutionize global connectivity by offering direct links to smartphones without the need for cellular networks.
The initial providers granted access to this cutting-edge technology include American T-Mobile, Canadian Rogers Communications Inc., Japanese KDDI Corporation, Australian Singtel Optus Pty Limited, New Zealand One New Zealand Group Limited, Swiss Salt Mobile SA, and Chilean Entel. The satellites aim to provide comprehensive access to text messages, calls, and web browsing, ensuring connectivity on land and coastal waters, as long as the sky remains visible.
Direct to Cell will extend its capabilities to connect IoT devices using LTE mobile transmission protocol standards. While Elon Musk emphasizes the ability for smartphone users to connect anywhere globally, he notes that each beam can only support around 7 Mbps, making it ideal for areas lacking cellular coverage but not a direct competitor to existing terrestrial cellular networks.
Elon Musk anticipates users being able to send text messages by 2024, with voice calls and web browsing support expected from 2025. Notably, this groundbreaking technology requires no hardware updates or special applications, streamlining the user experience.
The service represents a leap forward in global communication, promising seamless access to text, voice, and data for LTE-enabled phones worldwide. Direct to Cell is set to work with existing LTE (4G) phones, eliminating the need for additional hardware or application changes. The future trajectory of this technology holds the promise of expanded communication capabilities, offering users unparalleled connectivity on a global scale.