Elon Musk will begin testing calls to cell phones from space
Already this year, SpaceX and T-Mobile will begin testing the possibility of making calls to cellular phones through the Starlink satellite network. This was reported to CNBC by the head of the company, Elon Musk.
The market for data transmission services via space links directly to ground-based devices such as smartphones is believed to be potentially lucrative. Therefore, various satellite companies cooperate with terrestrial mobile network operators or device manufacturers to close the white spots in the coverage of the entire Earth.
SpaceX and T-Mobile announced the beginning of cooperation on August 2022, and promised to “eliminate the “dead zones” in a mobile network covering”. At the same time, Elon Musk promised that Starlink V2 will be launched in 2023 and will be ready to provide services on mobile phones.
As it is for today, SpaceX has already launched 4000 Starlink satellites and released more capable satellites called “V2 Mini”. The company officials state that these new satellites have four times higher capacity than previous generation satellites.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the Satellite 2023 conference in Washington, SpaceX’s vice president of Starlink corporate sales, Jonathan Hoffeller, said SpaceX is producing six satellites a day at its factory near Seattle. He also noted that the company no longer produces Starlink satellites of the previous 1.5 series. The company also makes “thousands” of user terminals per day, he said.
Today, SpaceX has “well over 1 million” Starlink users, Hoffeller noted, adding that the company passed that milestone last December. The company recently announced that the Starlink business had “positive quarterly performance” in 2022, and it aims for the division to “make money” in 2023.