Starlink, the broadband internet system developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX, will start rolling out its mobile services in 2024.
The announcement comes as the space exploration company recently debuted a website for Starlink Direct to Cell services over the weekend. On the page found on direct.starlink.com, it states that the internet system's texting services will be launched in 2024, followed by voice and data services the following year, and IoT (Internet of Things) functions in 2026.
The website's launch comes a year after SpaceX announced that it has partnered with T-Mobile to offer cell services in dead zones with the help of Starlink's space satellites functioning as cell towers in space rather than mounted on buildings.
Apple introduced the same service, which they dubbed "Emergency SOS," in 2022 and now offers it across all iPhone 15 models. While Apple has only limited this service to dead zones, SpaceX, for its part, said that Starlink's satellite-powered messaging services "works with existing LTE phones whenever you can see the sky."
"No changes to hardware, firmware, or special apps are required, providing seamless access to text, voice, and data," it added. The changes are instead applied to Starlink satellites through updates on its hardware to sport the necessary LTE equipment.
SpaceX also claimed that Starlink satellites are currently a lot closer to Earth at 550km compared to those of other companies, enabling Starlink users to connect to its satellites more easily.
Starlink's website, meanwhile, doesn't specify the service speed, but SpaceX previously announced during Starlink's launch that it is 2 to 4Mbps, which is fast enough for web browsing and messaging on any app such as WhatsApp, Skype, and iMessage.
Apart from T-Mobile in the USA, Starlink has partnered with various mobile carriers around the world, including Optus in Australia, Rogers in Canada, KDDI in Japan, with more expected to be added to the list when the service has launched.
Starlink has been offering its internet services in the Philippines since it launched in all areas of the country, except Metro Manila in February 2023.