Elon Musk Praises SpaceX’s ‘Great Solution’ For Zero Mobile Connectivity After Starlink Launches First ‘Direct-To-Cell’ Satellites

SpaceX, the aerospace company founded by Elon Musk, has successfully launched its first set of ‘Direct-to-Cell’ Starlink satellites, signaling a significant advancement in global connectivity. The launch involved 21 Starlink satellites, including the first six equipped with Direct to Cell capabilities. This technology aims to improve global connectivity and eliminate cellular dead zones.

Unlike traditional mobile networks that rely on a grid of cell towers, direct-to-cell establishes a direct link between mobile phones and Starlink’s orbiting satellites. This eliminates the need for terrestrial infrastructure such as cell towers, particularly in remote areas where connectivity is challenging.

The Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell functionality feature an advanced eNodeB modem, which acts as a space-based cellphone tower and facilitates network integration similar to a roaming partner. According to Elon Musk, SpaceX’s CEO, this technology will enable mobile phone connectivity anywhere on Earth. However, he also mentioned that it is not yet competitive with existing terrestrial cellular networks.

This development comes shortly after SpaceX announced that Starlink has surpassed 2.3 million customers across 70 countries. The launch of direct-to-cell satellites has the potential to expand this customer base by providing connectivity to even more remote areas.

In terms of valuation, SpaceX recently reached a value of $180 billion, surpassing several well-known companies. The addition of these new satellites could further increase the company’s value and solidify its dominance in the space sector.

However, SpaceX has encountered challenges along the way. The Federal Communications Commission recently denied Starlink $885.5 million in rural broadband subsidies, a decision that Elon Musk criticized as “extremely unethical and politically partisan.”

Despite these hurdles, SpaceX continues to push the boundaries of global connectivity and space exploration. With ongoing advancements and innovations, the company aims to revolutionize communication and connectivity on a global scale.

Image Credits – Shutterstock

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