The petition, filed Friday with the Federal Communications Commission, marks SpaceX’s largest step yet toward linking Starlink into the automotive industry, a possibly profitable field of business that will expand the corporation’s present static offerings from rural houses. “No longer are consumers willing to exude connectivity whilst on the move, while driving a vehicle throughout the nation, transferring a freighter out of Europe into some U.S. port, while on a national or global trip,” the filing read.
Smaller passenger vehicles might need to wait. “Not linking Tesla automobiles to Starlink, since our terminal is far too large,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted Monday, reacting to a post about the FCC filing. With more than 1,000 satellites in the area, SpaceX’s Starlink has 10,000 users via an invite-only beta app it began last year. The beta program is presently geared toward rural areas of the US which possess little to no online connectivity.
A Starlink kit having an antenna and router prices $499, and $99 a month for rates of approximately 70 to 130 Mbps. Last month, SpaceX began accepting averaging $99 Starlink preorders to a restricted number of customers per policy region,” which includes parts of the USA, Canada, and United Kingdom. SpaceX’s petition to connect Starlink with vehicles did not offer any details about any new antenna designs, however, they stated they” are identical to its previously licensed customer user terminals, however, also have mountings that enable them to be installed on vehicles, aircraft, and vessels.”
The cellular antennas would match the”masts of boats or the shirts of semi-trucks” — or, even in customer instances, on”passenger automobiles or pleasure ships,” the other SpaceX filing stated. Contrary to Starlink’s present springs, which arrive with brackets and therefore are set up by the consumer, the automobile antennas will be put up by”contractors that are qualified “Throwing a Starlink terminal onto a moving vehicle is not a sudden move for SpaceX, that this past year requested for an experimental FCC license to run Starlink terminals on Gulfstream jets.
Although Musk played down the possibility of arming Tesla using Starlink terminals now, he explained in a sales forecast in January 2020 which”it is certainly something which could occur in the next few years. “Together with all the newest filing, SpaceX today seems to be more concentrated on their cellular connectivity attempts, hinting they intend to target their own service in drivers, boat operators, and even air travelers from the USA and overseas.