First license for direct communication between a mobile phone and a satellite

Lynk Global has received the first commercial license for direct communication between a satellite and a mobile phone without the intermediate station. In the USA, the struggle for this segment of services is unfolding.

Lynk Tower satellite. Source: Lynk screenshot

Mobile satellite Internet from Lynk Global

Lynk Global received a license from the US Federal Commission on September 16 to implement a direct commercial connection between a mobile phone and a satellite. Permission to deploy 10 satellites in orbit, each the size of a pizza box, contains restrictions that make it impossible to cross the ranges of the company’s customers with other operators.

The license also does not allow the company to monopolize the entire range allocated to it. Of the 10 Lynk Tower satellites listed in the license, one was launched into orbit by a SpaceX rocket back in April. Three more will take their places in space in December this year.

It is expected that such a number of satellites in orbit will be enough to provide customers not only with the ability to send alarm calls, but also to send eight text messages per day. Unlike all existing communication systems, called “satellite”, the service offered by Lynk Global will not need an intermediate ground antenna, which is the main component of Starlink.

At the same time, Lynk Global still needs to solve a lot of formalities. For example, they still do not have an agreement with any of the main US mobile operators. They also do not have permission to use the allocated range in any other country except the United States. But still, today it is the first and only confirmed license for direct connection of a satellite and a smartphone.

Competitors comes on the heels

At the same time, it is worth noting that a real battle has now unfolded in the United States over which company will better provide mobile phone users with communication beyond the reach of ground towers. For example, in November of this year, Apple will offer users of the new iPhone 14 a connection service with the Globalstar satellite. However, only the SOS signal will be available to them.

One of the largest American operators, T-Mobile, promises its customers direct communication with Starlink satellites and sends text messages and images. It is expected that this service will be available before the end of next year. However, the actual start date is determined by when SpaceX will solve the whole range of problems associated with the placement in orbit and operation of its second-generation satellites.

Meanwhile, the startup AST SpaceMobile plans to start immediately by providing customers with access via satellite to 4G and 5G networks. This should happen at the end of next year. However, the company has already successfully launched its first satellite equipped with the largest antenna in orbit on August 10.

According to

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