SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation may provide high-speed Internet to mobiles phones in near future, as suggested by a report. The Elon Musk-founded company has filed an application to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking permission to use the 2GHz spectrum to provide “mobile satellite service.” The space company has over 2,600 Starlink satellites in orbit that provide broadband services, especially in rural areas that don’t have access to ground-based telecommunication infrastructure and/ or places hit by disaster or conflict.
As per the FCC application, first spotted by PCMag, the company is seeking permission to add and use a “modular payload” to its Starlink satellites that is capable of using the 2GHz radio band to facilitate “mobile satellite service.” While the mystery shrouds its exact working, it is suggested that SpaceX could start offering its service to cell phone users.
“Americans are increasingly demanding connectivity wherever they are, whenever they want, and whatever they are doing. In particular, they have grown accustomed to being able to connect using small, hand-held devices that they can carry with them or affix to mobile platforms,” SpaceX said in its FCC filing.
SpaceX’s system will also use “existing ground equipment and user terminals” for Starlink while adding “new earth-station equipment to optimise performance for consumers.” The service is also said to “provide service with latency below 50 milliseconds, which is nearly unnoticeable to consumers.”
It is also suggested that SpaceX can offer Internet to mobiles with the help of nano-satellites technology company Swarm which provides data for Internet-of-Things devices. SpaceX acquired the company last year in August.