SpaceX gets approval to bring Starlink internet to airplanes, RVs2022-07-01 17:51 by Daniela
Tags: SpaceX, Starlink, FCC
The FCC has approved SpaceX's application to operate Starlink on moving vehicles, including cars, boats, and planes.
SpaceX requested regulatory approval from the FCC in March of last year to allow Earth Stations in Motion (ESIM) Starlink terminals to be used in moving vehicles. To tap into the system and receive broadband internet coverage, customers must purchase a personal ground-based antenna, or user terminal, that is designed to connect with any orbiting Starlink satellites that happen to be overhead. Up until now, those dishes have had to remain in a fixed location in order to access the system.
The move sets the company up to expand its customer base, which so far has been focused solely on providing roughly $100-per-month internet services to homes, mostly in areas that aren't serviced by traditional ground-based internet service. It has hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the world.
The spectrum bands used for space-to-Earth transmissions with ESIM range from 10.7 GHz to 12.7 GHz. The FCC is separately considering whether to allow mobile services in the 12.2-12.7 GHz band. Dish Network wants to use that band for its cellular network but SpaceX argues that mobile service in 12 GHz would make Starlink unusable for most Americans because the satellite Internet network uses the same spectrum for downloads.
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