SpaceX Starlink Enables Mobile Roaming and Truckers and RVers are Successfully Experimenting

SpaceX Starlink for RV use is available as of March, 2022 and taking Internet connectivity to the fastest speeds we ever for who work from the road. The RV and trucker experiments enable Starlink connectivity while driving. This enables connection anywhere you travel and even while moving.

UPDATE- Starlink mobility has been formalized by SpaceX as a $25/month feature. It is $135 per month for Starlink service if you add this additional $25/month feature.

A Tesla Model X owner has placed a dish on the back of his model X to get 200 Mbps while driving on the highway.

Mobile roaming has been enabled, so phased array antenna can maintain signal while on moving vehicle.

Tucks truck describes specifics of how to attach a Starlink dish to the roof of his truck and having roaming internet.

They have attached the round Starlink dish to a tire on the roof of a truck and it has worked well.

Tucks Truck has a round dish for his experiments. Pat Chics ( seems to have done the most extensive experimentation with a rectangular dish. Others are also experimenting with Starlink roaming.

7 thoughts on “SpaceX Starlink Enables Mobile Roaming and Truckers and RVers are Successfully Experimenting”

  1. Them and Lynk.Global as well. Though both as configured currently with their initial 24-36 sat constellations are going to be providing hourly coverage, so IoT messaging using standard cellphone modems/antennas is their sweet spot. Voice will be real hard initially. AST is better funded, but resemble a repeater infrastructure (and use partner carrier frequency allocations when over a specific landmass), while Lynk uses true flying base stations but need to get their own frequency allocations. If Lynk has lasercomm sat meshing, they would scale up better as a standalone cellular satphone system, while Spacemobile would be an addon service to an existing carrier…

  2. I believe the motors get a rough aim at a satellite that's passing over, and the phased array adaptively aims more precisely at it.

    (Has anyone observed a Starlink antenna in operation to know how it reorients itself? Once as it changes satellites, or continuously, or in quick jerks? Only rarely?)

    Since a satellite passes over in a minute or so, I'd guess it has to use the motors to re-aim a few times over that interval, then turn quickly to a new satellite.

    That would probably entail a brief loss of signal, but I suppose they might send a 'pause' control signal to the satellite control network so they don't have to waste time taking a data error and requesting a retransmission.

  3. I was under the impression that the Starlink antennas were phased arrays, and thus aimed by varying the phase of the separate elements relative to one another, without any motors to do so. Is that not the case?

  4. I've wondered if there is some way to make Starlink antennas cheaper.

    Apparently Starlink requires a flat 2D array of lots of antenna elements that have to be aimed (by motors) roughly in the right direction to form a 'signal orientation'.

    Could a 3D array use fewer antenna elements – say on the corners of a cube – and not need to be physically aimed?

  5. I concur. Here is a critical review of AST Space Mobile

    Also, each satellite needs a downlink dish below it on earth, so using it over oceans will not be possible. I.e. it could not, even if all promises pan out, compete with Starlink in all user cases.

    Also, each satellite is supposed to cover about 2 million square miles. Now how many customers could fit in that area? Say… 10? (very low density). Then you would have 20 million customers all using the satellite down/uplink capability. So you much bandwidth could the satellite manage with an (several?) earth dishes? 100 Gb per second? Well, that would equate to 5 kbit per second and user.

    Perhaps they have already solved this, but it is not obvious how…

  6. Looks interesting, but they've yet to launch a test satellite – and I see nothing in their site about how many satellites they're going to need when they go fully operational, or how they're going to launch said satellites, or what timeframe we're looking at on becoming operational.

    And then there's the problem of signal strength – can a standard, commercially affordable cell phone signal be reliably detected in orbit?

    Smells a lot like vaporware, to be honest. They've got a LONG way to go before they even prove their concept works, much less that it could be commercially successful.

    As far as financing goes, from what I'm seeing on the site there's companies interested enough to go for 'memorandum of understanding', in that if things work out the way AST Spacemobile works then they'd be interested in partnerships… but I think AST has a long way to go before there's any sort of commercial viability.

    (I also noted that the mandatory legal disclaimers were almost longer than the articles themselves. That's… not so hot.)

    On the other hand, this could work well with Starlink, which is focused on data instead of cellular communications. I think it unlikely to be a Starlink killer.

  7. Brian, you really should do an article on AST Spacemobile. It looks like they might just eat SpaceX's lunch in the satellite internet market.

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