Successful test. Regular smartphones exchanged messages via Starlink for the first time in history


Successful test. Regular smartphones exchanged messages via Starlink for the first time in history

January 12, 21:40 Share:

SpaceX tested the newly launched updated Starlink into orbit (Photo: SpaceX / X)

SpaceX announced the successful testing of the latest Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell functionality, which provides direct connectivity to smartphones.

Earlier this month, SpaceX launched the first six updated Starlink satellites into orbit with Direct to Cell functionality, allowing mobile network operators around the world to provide seamless global access to text messages, calls and web browsing, no matter where the user is on land or in body of water

The new technology was successfully tested this week as the SpaceX team announced that it had sent and received text messages via Direct to Cell satellites for the first time.. To achieve this, many technical problems had to be solved.

Read also: Connect to a smartphone. SpaceX launched the first batch of updated Starlink satellites

“Connecting cell phones to satellites has several major challenges that must be overcome. For example, in a terrestrial network cell towers are stationary, but in a satellite network they move at tens of thousands of miles per hour relative to users on Earth. This requires uninterrupted transmission between satellites and devices for factors… that cause communication interference between the phone and space. «Mobile phones are also incredibly difficult to connect to satellites hundreds of miles away, given the low cell phone antenna gain and low transmit power,» SpaceX noted.

https://twitter.com/SpaceX/status/1745246204118925711

The company explained that Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell payloads are equipped with innovative custom silicon phased array antennas and advanced software algorithms that overcome the mentioned problems.

In the future, SpaceX aims to scale the Direct to Cell network to also add voice messaging capabilities using this technology in 2024.

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