Satellite Direct to Cellphone

Lynk Global secured regulatory approval Sept. 16 to operate its initial cellphone-compatible constellation globally, although the startup needs to deploy more satellites and get landing rights before it can start services.

There are many companies working on satellite direct to cellphone communication. For years, the world has satellite phones. The regular satellite phone business is about $4 billion per year in revenue. The regular satellite phone competitors are Iridium, Inmarsat, and several others.

Old Iridium Satellite Phone

The new direct to regular phone service has Lynk Global, AST SpaceMobile along with SpaceX Starlink-T-mobile and Apple emergency texting through Globalstar.

the 64 meter AST SpaceMobile antenna

Satellite-to-smartphone startup AST SpaceMobile is preparing to unfurl the largest commercial antenna ever deployed in low Earth orbit after establishing contact with its BlueWalker 3 prototype satellite.

AST SpaceMobile said Sept. 13 that BlueWalker 3 is stable and responding to commands from ground crews following its launch three days earlier on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The solar and other conditions will be optimal in a “couple of weeks” to unfold the satellite’s 64-square-meter phased array antenna.

The direct to cellphone business has the potential to be a large part of the over $1 trillion mobile phone and cellular service business.

I am writing several chapters of a new book. One of my chapters will provide far more details on the future of SpaceX and Starlink. Contact me (blwang at gmail dot com) if you are interested in getting an early look at the book and helping to edit and review it. Thanks for your support.

4 thoughts on “Satellite Direct to Cellphone”

  1. You don’t need to use the router that comes with any of the Starlink kits. So, just use your own router and set whatever SSID you chose, disable wifi, etc. The antenna itself is the server that’s issuing the lan ip’s, etc. via ethernet through the Starlink POE supply.

  2. This is off topic, but it is about sat communications.
    I ran across this tweet: yesterday,
    “If this does go through and Iranians are able to smuggle in StarLink kits, then it’d be wise to not use the integrated WiFi router because the first 6 characters in the hardware’s MAC address will identify the brand in a regular WiFi scan.”
    Elon Musk’s Starlink system for Iran people who’ve been cut off from the ‘net.
    Is this true, that Starlink systems can be easily located?
    Iran is not noted for it’s kind and understanding for anyone disagreeing with the regime.
    If this is true, maybe someone could get Starlink’s attention to this problem, soonest please.

    • The dish starts by orienting itself to the sky and getting its own GPS coordinates, to check it versus its declared service coordinates, that is, to whatever service address you give when requesting the antenna.

      So yes, they do know if you are using it in a valid service area or not.

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