T-Mobile cellphones on the ground will be connected via SpaceX’s second-generation Starlink satellites, according to an application submitted to the FCC.
The business is asking the FCC for approval to outfit 2,016 second-generation Starlink satellites with a “direct-to-cellular system” that can beam data to readily available T-Mobile phones.
SpaceX stated in the application that it would be able to offer phone, texting, and basic web surfing at theoretical peak rates of up to either 3.0Mbps or 7.2Mbps peak upload and up to either 4.4Mbps or 18.3Mbps on the downlink.
T-Mobile and SpaceX established a collaboration in August to use SpaceX’s low-Earth orbiting satellites to provide ground services to the carrier’s customers. The intention is to increase T-coverage Mobile’s across the US by using the Starlink network, particularly in rural and distant regions with weak or no mobile service.
“Operating essentially as cellular base stations in space, direct-to-cellular payloads will give T-Mobile a means of reaching mobile devices provisioned for its own and partner networks when terrestrial base stations are out of reach or unavailable,” SpaceX told the FCC in a separate document.
The application submitted on Tuesday confirms that SpaceX intends to beam communication data to T-cell Mobile’s phones using the 1910–1915 MHz and 1990–1995 MHz LTE bands, which the carrier has previously licenced. Customers will be able to connect to the Starlink satellites using their current, unaltered T-Mobile LTE handsets as a consequence, the firm claims.
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