CNET reports that SpaceX hopes to offer internet service for smartphones via T-Mobile “by the time just half of those flying routers are operating.”
Starlink will be able “to provide voice, messaging, and basic web browsing at theoretical peak speeds of up to either 3.0 Mbps or 7.2 Mbps peak upload… and up to either 4.4 Mbps or 18.3Mbps on the downlink,” the filing reads.
It is to be noted that SpaceX already has 3,500 first generation Starlinks and claims it is in a position to offer “full and continuous” smartphone coverage with 2,000 equipped Gen2 satellites as soon as 2024. Elon Musk‘s SpaceX-owned Starlink satellite constellation provides internet coverage to 40 countries.
Microsoft’s Airband Initiative
The news comes a day after Microsoft and global communications company Viasat partnered under Microsoft’s Airband Initiative to deliver internet access to 10 million people around the globe, including 5 million across Africa. The project aims to enable telehealth, distance learning and education, precision agriculture, clean power, and other services to reach new areas.
“The companies will collaborate to provide and pilot technologies including, but not limited to, satellites (both geostationary orbit and low earth orbit) and fixed wireless,” Microsoft said in a blog post.
Companies including Meta, which recently shut down its Connectivity division that aimed to provide internet via Aquila drone, and Google that pulled the plug on its Loon project, have also tried their hands on similar technology. Earlier this year, Amazon also announced its entry into this space.
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