Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX. Which provides Satellite Internet access to 36 countries in the present day. And as appealed by the FCC on Monday that SpaceX is revealed to be looking to upgrade the 2GHz frequency to its Starlink license for use with “mobile users.” While we don’t know much about what this means, it could be the start of offering its service to cell phone users.
SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink has been important upstairs in the last few years. Many Satellite has skyrocketed this year, with SpaceX now operating over 2500 satellite in orbit with approx half a million subscribers.
The filing was first found by PCMag and describes how expanding Starlink’s coverage to 2GHz will benefit all Americans. This expansion to the 2GHz frequency would mean its signals are less affected by obstructing objects and would be more friendly for smaller devices, like smartphones.
It is believed by Space X that it can achieve this capability due to its acquisition of Swarm, a nano-satellites technology company providing data for Internet-of-Things devices. SpaceX acquired the company in August of last year.
According to FCC’s Monday appalling, existing Starlink satellites would not be capable of this “mobile service.” So instead, SpaceX stated it would attach new modules to the satellites and produce a small mobile device for users to connect to on the ground.
All small handheld devices that SpaceX puts forward be like used instead of the large dish that requires a wall outlet for power. Although, the FFC filling doesn’t detail what this device will look like or exactly how large it will be.
Possible use in iPhones and other smartphones in the future
Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple has been looking into adding satellite connectivity to its iPhones is reported in 2019. Could this “Starlink for mobile users” feature mean collaboration between SpaceX and Apple?
Course not yet, you can quickly draw the line between the two companies as it’s unlikely Apple will develop its own satellites. Other satellite constellation providers could compete to collaborate with Apple. OneWeb has been building out its LEO constellations for a few years now, and Amazon’s Project Kuiper is supposed to start launching soon.
For example, SpaceX says its mobile service’s latency could be as low as 50 ms, which it states would not be noticeable to users. This sort of low latency service will be a requirement for Apple if it goes through with this satellite iPhone option. To start, Apple is expected to only use its satellite connectivity to serve as SOS beacons in areas without cell phone reception.
LEO constellations would make the most sense for Apple as it provides lower latency than geostationary satellites from ViaSat or others. This makes it even more adapting.
Just now, it looks like this mobile user Starlink service could be an add-on to an existing Starlink subscription, but for a while, we need to wait for more details to come out if the FCC approves the application that I’ll definitely go to bring to you, until than stay tuned.