Thursday, December 1, 2022
HomeSpaceXTesla wants to connect its cars to SpaceX's Starlink satellite network

Tesla wants to connect its cars to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network

Starlink: behind this name that reeks of SF is the satellite network deployed by SpaceX, Elon Musk’s space company. Its goal is to provide very high-speed Internet access to people living in areas poorly served by traditional infrastructure.

In May 2021, a reporter from the CNBC channel asked Elon Musk about a request for permission filed by SpaceX with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to connect vehicles to the Starlink network. Elon Musk had considered it possible before the end of the year, especially in terms of planes, boats, trucks and other RVs. On the other hand, the mission was considered difficult by the tycoon regarding Tesla cars due to the congestion of the required terminal.

SpaceX seems to have found the solution with the mobile operator T-Mobile. At a joint event, the two companies announced the ability to connect via smartphone to the satellite network using T-Mobile’s 5G spectrum. The speed of this connection will be limited between 2 and 4 Mb/s per coverage area. Not enough to broadcast video, but enough to make a call or send an SMS from any region of the globe covered by Starlink.

All Tesla owners who subscribe to a T-Mobile plan will therefore benefit from this superior coverage at no additional cost. Access to the Starlink network via 5G will also benefit other carriers such as AT&T. This North American operator, which equips Tesla, caused panic in February 2022 with the closure of its 3G network in favor of 4G/LTE.

As a result, Model S produced before June 2015 and without a 4G modem no longer benefited from connected services, except via wifi or a paid update ($200). It remains to be seen if Tesla will charge for this new service or if it will be included in the $99/month Premium Connectivity plan.

The availability of the new service will not take place until the end of 2023 and bring into orbit Starlink Gen 2 satellites, which are much larger and equipped with the necessary antennas for cellular connections. It remains to be seen whether Europe will also be able to access it.

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