Elon Musk’s Starlink Successfully Relays Satellite Text Messages To And From Smartphones On The Ground

It’s the news that Elon Musk’s SpaceX firm has long been waiting for and today it has finally confirmed how its Starlink managed to successfully relay texts to and from smartphone devices on the ground.

This is proof for all the critics that did once question whether or not it works and from what we can see right now, it certainly does with a bang!

The company generated a post on this success through X where they unveiled how the whole purpose was to operate all cell towers carrying out orbits in space. And that was a test carried out on January 8, just six days after the launch arose.

They both sent and received the initial texts from mobile devices that were unchanged on the ground. This was headed directly toward the latest satellites orbiting in space via the T-Mobile network, the firm added.

For now, the organization has yet to further elaborate more on the test like which speeds were used, what the latency was, and what the messages actually stated. But the fact that they were sent through a single Starlink satellite dubbed ‘Direct to Sell’ with so much success is making big news.

Meanwhile, the question about the remaining five satellites from Starlink relaying messages successfully is still questionable as no details were released by the company in this regard. For now, it’s also refraining from entertaining any requests for more details on the subject but we’ll update you when that happens.

Whatever the case, the post noted how the early tests and launch were done with success and that shows how the breakthrough technology really does work.

But it was not an easy road to success, that’s for sure. The company shed light on how they faced many obstacles along the way in terms of text message transmissions through mobile phones to satellites. And that included how so many modern-day devices entail low gain antennas which are designed solely to link to any closely located cell tower and not the real satellite present above.

As a response to that, the company did reveal how they were rolling out new satellites for Starlink that entailed state-of-the-art technology that would rely on phone signals during the earth’s orbit, despite being 340 miles in distance.

SpaceX further detailed on the matter including how they used great optimization in the product to achieve desirable results like silicon onboards that limit power usage and keep costs at a bare minimum.

Meanwhile, the Musk-owned tech firm added how communications through 4G technology would also be done through LTE modems. It’s quite different from stationary cell towers as the satellites are orbiting around the earth at a speed of 17k miles/hour. Therefore, it just gets so hard to regulate steady signals for those located on the ground.

To be able to carry out handoffs successfully will be pertinent since every satellite stays visible across the sky for a few minutes before it gets out of view due to its orbiting ability.

The FCC did allow the firm to begin testing its Starlink system in more than 24 different locations through 840 satellites and we should see that kind of launch arising as early as the next few months.

But as far as commercial operations across the US are concerned, that’s yet to happen as full approval from the FCC has not come. This might be linked to growing concerns about it interfering with radio.

Image: SpaceX

Read next: US Supreme Court To Witness Arguments On State Laws Limiting Censorship Across X, YouTube, And Facebook
Previous Post Next Post