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These 7 mobile operators are the first to launch Starlink Direct to Cell cellular services



Starlink Direct to Cell smartphone

On January 2, SpaceX launched the first 6 Direct to Cell Starlink satellites into low earth orbit and reconfirmed the initial 7 mobile operators that will provide Direct to Cell services for global consumers.

According to the information, SpaceX has partnered with seven cellular service providers using Direct to Cell services:

T-Mobile (U.S.) – The second-largest carrier in the US known for its disruptive and competitive pricing strategies and has been testing Starlink technologies since 2022. It’s also the first company to partner with Starlink for direct to cell satellite services.

Rogers (Canada) – The Canadian network operator signed a partnership with Starlink in May last year to provide mobile connectivity in remote regions and enhance its offerings.


KDDI (Japan) – Both partners signed an agreement in August 2023 to provide satellite-to-cellular coverage beyond traditional mobile connectivity and expand to islands and mountains.

Optus (Australia) – This network operator partnered with SpaceX in August 2023. Alongside T-Mobile and Rogers, Optus said it wants to expand the reach of customers’ mobile connectivity to include the 60% of Australia’s land mass that currently has no mobile coverage.

NZ One (New Zealand) – This network operator announced a partnership with SpaceX in June 2023 for direct to cell satellite phone services. The aim of this mobile operator is also to increase the connectivity in rural and coastal customers.

Salt Mobile (Switzerland)Salt and SpaceX confirmed a partnership in March 2023 as the first telecom provider in Europe to launch satellite mobile services across Switzerland.


Entel (Chile) – There’s no public agreement shared by Entel and SpaceX but it’s officially a part of the Direct to Cell service launch.


Direct to Cell satellites are equipped with an advanced eNodeB modem that works like a cellphone tower in space allowing network integration to a standard roaming partner.


Starlink Direct to Cell smartphone

The service could connect with existing LTE phones via a network provider. Service providers will launch text services in 2024. On the other hand, voice and data services are planned to launch in 2025 alongside IoT connectivity.

To provide satellite network services, the companies involved in Direct to Cell connectivity will create a new network to broadcast Starlink’s satellite using a nationwide spectrum model.

Timothy started learning about game development and electronics at the age of 17. After involvement in different projects, he switched to Android app development and began pursuing smart hardware mechanics. Later on, he became fond of writing and tech journalism. Timothy covers major topics about internet personality, business, EV, Space, Social Media, and more. He loves to watch survival videos and try to find out new facts about the ocean and animals.

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