Image : Starlink
A year ago, SpaceX and T-Mobile announced their partnership- “Coverage Above and Beyond”, which is a global satellite-to-cellular network program. Elon Musk and Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile, drew up plans to supply 5G coverage via second-generation Starlink satellites and to put an end to mobile dead zones.
SpaceX will begin testing its Starlink satellite-to-cell service later in 2023. “We’re going to learn a lot by doing — not necessarily by overanalyzing — and getting out there, working with the telcos,” said Jonathan Hofeller, vice president of Starlink enterprise, on a panel at the Satellite 2023 conference in Washington, DC. Hofeller also declared that Starlink hosts “well over a million users” and is currently building 6 second-generation satellites each day.
Hofeller: Starlink now has “well over a million users,” and SpaceX is building 6 next-generation satellite per day, as well as 1000s of user terminals daily.
— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) March 13, 2023
Although Hofeller did not specify which Telco SpaceX was working with, the timeline synchronizes with Musk’s vision for the T-Mobile partnership. Lynk Global CEO said that the satellite-cellular service has the potential to be the “biggest category in satellite,” while Iridium CEO Matt Desch sees this as just the beginning. He said, “Satellite should connect everything everywhere” and we can only imagine where this could take us.