Starlink is interested in iPhones and Android smartphones, what we know

SpaceX has just asked the FCC, the American frequency authority, for authorization to use the 2 GHz range to deliver Starlink satellite internet access to “mobile users”. According to several sources, this would be a sign that SpaceX is interested in iPhones and Android smartphones to which the firm could deliver internet access worldwide.

The 2 GHz range is more penetrating than other frequencies used by Starlink. This means less interference, better penetration through obstacles, and above all the possibility of communicating more directly with devices such as smartphones and connected objects. SpaceX explains its approach in the body of the request.

How SpaceX could deliver Starlink access to iPhones and Android smartphones

“Americans are increasingly demanding to stay connected to the Internet wherever they are, at any time of the day, and whatever their activity. In particular, they have become accustomed to being able to connect using compact, handheld devices that they can carry with them or attach to mobile platforms”explains SpaceX in its application to the FCC.

Another detail that appears in the documents: SpaceX justifies its ability to deploy a service in the 2 GHz band by its acquisition of Swarm in August 2021 – a startup specializing in nano-satellites aimed at providing data for the Internet of Things. However, SpaceX also specifies that the current generation of satellites in orbit will not be able to transmit in the 2 GHz band.

As a first step, SpaceX will have to attach a special module to the next satellites to be launched. Customers of the service will have to use a specific device, which will probably be a kind of mobile hostpot, to connect smartphones and other objects connected to the Internet. Our colleagues from Space Explored also mention another interesting possibility in the medium term.

And if indeed SpaceX approached firms like Apple to directly deliver Starlink mobile internet access on smartphones? We know in particular that Apple has been looking for some time to add satellite connectivity to its iPhones. And that the rest of the industry is also looking for solutions to make this happen.

Also Read – Starlink Launches Boat Subscription, It Costs $5,000 Per Month

Thus, it is not impossible that in the not so distant future, it will become possible to subscribe to Starlink and benefit from continuous Internet connectivity anywhere in the world, without excessive roaming charges. Still, for the time being, the only similar subscription in terms of characteristics, reserved for vans, costs €124 per month. Which is “slightly” more expensive than operators such as Free Mobile, Red, Prixtel or Sosh.


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