SpaceX demonstrates first successful video call using Starlink Direct-to-Cell technology

SpaceX has showcased the capabilities of its Starlink system designed for cell phones, demonstrating a seamless video call between two smartphones, all done using the Starlink Direct to Cell satellites.

This demonstration was posted on X, and featured a SpaceX employee making a call via a smartphone connected to the Starlink satellites in low-Earth orbit. Despite not relying on cellular towers nearby, the connection was established, and the video call, though a bit grainy, was successful.

As SpaceX points out in the post on X, the video call was completed using unmodified smartphones. This follows an earlier test in March where the Starlink system delivered download speeds of up to 17Mbps to an unmodified Android phone.

The results of these tests, and in particular this latest test of a video call, indicate that SpaceX’s Starlink Direct-To-Cell service will not only be able to provide cellular connections in remote areas, but it could also be a viable alternative to traditional cellular networks in regions where infrastructure is lacking.

SpaceX plans to roll out this Direct-To-Cell service later in 2024, initially targeting T-Mobile customers in the US. Many other network providers have also signed up with SpaceX, including Rogers in Canada.

However, not all of those services will initially be available. According to the company’s website, text services will first launch in 2024, followed by voice and data services in 2025.

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