Elon Musk Begins Launching Satellite Cellphone Towers Into Space

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Jan 04, 2024 - 02:20 AM

Elon Musk's SpaceX started the new year with a Falcon 9 rocket launch of the firm's first-ever direct-to-cell satellites. 

Six of the 21 Starlink satellites launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, have direct-to-cell capabilities that provide connectivity for most 4G LTE devices when in range. 

SpaceX plans to "eliminate dead zones" with its new service that could be rolled out in 2025, pending regulatory license for commercial use. 

The initial rollout in the US will be with SpaceX's US mobile partner, T-Mobile. Other partners include mobile operators in Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, and Switzerland. 

Musk commented on the launch Tuesday night. He said, "This will allow for mobile phone connectivity anywhere on Earth." 

"Note, this only supports ~7Mb per beam and the beams are very big, so while this is a great solution for locations with no cellular connectivity, it is not meaningfully competitive with existing terrestrial cellular networks," Musk said. 

SpaceX is also expected to have another record year of rocket launches.