The Federal Communications Commission has granted a license to SpaceX to use the Starlink satellite internet system on moving vehicles, including cars, trucks, boats and planes.
The license is a big win for SpaceX’s Starlink system. And it potentially opens the service to a much more diverse set of use cases and clients.
SpaceX requested regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission in March of last year to allow mobile ground stations to use Starlink terminals in moving vehicles.
To take advantage of the system and obtain broadband Internet coverage, customers must purchase a personal ground antenna, or user station, designed to communicate with any orbiting Starlink satellites.
Previously, these dishes had to be kept in a fixed place in order to access the system.
The Federal Communications Commission granted the license to SpaceX, in addition to agreeing to the request of the satellite company Kepler.
This paves the way for a new class of user stations that can connect to broadband satellites on the go.
In doing so, the FCC chose to reject a petition from Dish Network, which sought to ban companies from using the frequency in the 12GHz band.
However, the FCC continues to do the analysis as it moves forward with setting rules for the presence of mobile earth station devices in the 12GHz band. It said Kepler and SpaceX are subject to any future rules it sets.
Ships, boats and planes can use Starlink
The FCC argues that approval of the new capability is in the public’s interest. ” We agree with SpaceX and Kepler that the public interest benefits by agreeing to requests with conditions,” she said.
“Licensing a new class of satellite system terminals to SpaceX expands broadband capabilities to meet growing user demands that now require connectivity on the go, whether you’re driving an RV across the country, or transporting a cargo ship from Europe to a US port,” she added. or while traveling on a domestic or international flight.
Starlink represents an ambitious initiative by SpaceX to launch a constellation of thousands of satellites in order to provide broadband coverage of the Earth.
The company has more than 2,400 satellites in orbit so far. After beta testing ended at the end of last year, the company recently said it had 400,000 users.
Customers wishing to order Starlink must purchase the set for $599 with a monthly fee of $110.
SpaceX has made it clear that it wants to expand Starlink beyond just using resident customers . The company is negotiating with several airlines about the use of the Starlink Internet service. It has deals with Hawaiian Airlines and private jet service JSX to begin providing in-flight internet connectivity over the next two years.
In addition, Starlink has introduced a new special subscription class for recreational vehicles. This allows users to connect to Starlink satellites from multiple locations for an additional fee without the need for a dedicated home address.