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SpaceX to test Starlink cell coverage as rival Amazon hires it to launch its Kuiper satellites

Starlink argues its satellite signal won't interfere (image: SpaceX)
Starlink argues its satellite signal won't interfere (image: SpaceX)
After its shareholders revolted against using the Blue Origin company of Jeff Bezos for Starlink's rival Project Kuiper satellite Internet service, Amazon went to SpaceX. It has now bought bought 3 cheaper rocket launches from Elon Musk's rival company for the task.

Amazon has now hired SpaceX rockets to shoot into space the constellation of satellites that will form Jeff Bezos' per project Kuiper. A direct competitor of SpaceX's own Starlink service, Project Kuiper is scheduled to provide rival satellite Internet connectivity. It will apparently need SpaceX's more polished satellite launching process in order to shoot them into orbit, though, as Amazon announced it has bought three SpaceX rocket launches for the task.

"SpaceX is the only satellite operator with the ability to launch its own satellites as needed," says Elon Musk's space company right on the tin, and adds that "with frequent, low-cost launches, Starlink satellites are constantly updated with the newest technology."

The low-cost part of that writeup must have attracted the attention of Amazon, as it needs its own satellite Internet service to be economically viable in the long run. Its shareholders have argued against launching Kuiper satellites with Jeff Bezos' own Blue Origin undertaking because of higher costs.

Meanwhile, SpaceX is looking to expand with other partnerships and by offering extra services. Last year, SpaceX signed an agreement to provide cellular service to T-Mobile customers in hard to reach areas via satellite.

At first, Starlink's cellular service will only allow texting and the like, but even that faces resistance from carriers and other entities which argue that it will interfere with their terrestrial signal. In order to address those worries, SpaceX has now refiled Starlink's cell service testing as an experimental license request before the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology, just like AT&T wanted.

Since SpaceX wants its cellular service with T-Mobile to launch via about 7,500 satellites in 2024, it is now asking the FCC to start additional interference tests on 840 of them, including measuring the signal strength to phones in "geographically diverse settings" like under foliage, close to buildings, or in deep valleys.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2023 12 > SpaceX to test Starlink cell coverage as rival Amazon hires it to launch its Kuiper satellites
Daniel Zlatev, 2023-12- 4 (Update: 2023-12-12)