SpaceX Makes First Social Media Post on X Using Starlink Direct-to-Cell Service

SpaceX has successfully used its Starlink Direct-to-Cell (DTC) satellites to make the first-ever social media post on X, marking a significant milestone in the company’s quest to revolutionize global telecommunications. What makes this accomplishment even more impressive is that it was accomplished using an ordinary mobile phone, without the need for any specialized equipment.

SpaceX’s DTC project aims to eliminate cellular dead zones worldwide by providing standard LTE service directly to ground-based cell phones, using its constellation of low Earth orbit satellites. SpaceX’s Starlink Gen 2 satellites are designed to address the common challenges associated with satellite-to-cell connectivity, such as the rapid movement of satellites, Doppler shift, timing delays, and the difficulty of connecting with distant satellites due to low antenna gain and transmit power.

The post, which was followed up by Sr Director, Satellite Engineering Ben Longmier with a picture of the Santa Cruz Mountains in California from where additional successful testing was conducted, was not just a demonstration of the technology but also proved the potential of Starlink’s DTC service to overcome natural obstacles like heavy tree cover that typically hampers satellite communications.

The initiative is part of SpaceX’s broader mission to offer comprehensive global cell phone service, with plans to expand the DTC network by launching hundreds of satellites within the year. This expansion aims to introduce text service in 2024, followed by voice, data, and Internet of Things (IoT) services in 2025.

The first batch of Starlink satellites capable of direct phone communication was launched on January 2, in collaboration with T-Mobile for network access in parts of the United States. The company has signed additional partnerships with wireless providers like Rogers in Canada, KDDI in Japan, One NZ, and others around the world.

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