First Starlink T-Mobile Cellular Satellites Launched - Broadband in your Pocket Everywhere?


Western Dirt Rat
This is basically the Starlink/T-Mobile answer to 2 way emergency text coms that Apple did last year. It will take a huge amount of work to get true data into a smartphone. Love to see Starlink start working on that problem but it's years away.
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Active member
You may know that I have been following this space quite carefully for a few years and have a Starlink system that I use regularly while travelling in remote areas.

The Startlink/T-Mobile partnership in the U.S. and Starlink/Rogers partnership in Canada have the potential to be game-changing. Still, I think adjusting many peoples' expectations of what this will offer is essential.

We have much to learn about the Starlink solution as they are just testing it in the real world. Still, based on what Starlink is saying publically and what we know about the Apple/Globalstar solution, it is safe to say that what satellite connectivity will offer to cellular phones in remote areas where there is no cellular network will be limited.

They have stated publically that initially you will only be able to send and receive "text messages." It's also unclear if the Starlink solution will require you to align your phone with a satellite like is required to use the Apple SOS/Roadside Assistance function. As the Starlink satellite constellation is much more extensive and in very low orbit, it may be possible to send and receive short-burst data with this "alignment".

It is only the beginning, and we will see some advances that will offer more in the future. Still, the design of our smartphones, the small antennas they have and the "limited" battery power they have, their "off-grid" limitations will likely be significant for at least a few years.

Unlike a device like a Garmin inReach, Zoleo, or other satellite communicator that is mission-specific, our smartphones using satellite connectivity are not likely to meet the more demanding requirements of many users who travel regularly in the backcountry.

I could be wrong - who knew several years ago that I could drive at highway speed and have affordable high-speed internet?

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