The Starlink satellite constellation provides internet access in areas overlooked by telephone operators. But for the moment, to connect to these satellites, it is essential to have a connection kit provided by SpaceX. And recently, Elon Musk's company quietly launched a new kit, whose antenna has a simplified design, but which also promises better weather resistance and better performance.
Starlink’s new “Standard” antenna has no motor and relies on a simple crutch. To orient this antenna, the user will have to move it using the mobile application. Obviously, the design is more minimalist. But at the same time, this new antenna is more resistant. In fact, it has an IP 67 waterproof certification instead of IP 54.
Quick start guide: pic.twitter.com/XdPrG09S0g
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The design of the router has also changed. And as The Verge explains, this uses the Wifi 6 standard. Coverage is improved, increasing to 297 square meters. Otherwise, it should be noted that this new kit is not currently available to everyone. “At this time, the ability to purchase the Starlink Standard kit is only available by invitation to a small group of early customers in the United States. We are unable to fulfill order requests from customers who have not received an invitation”, we read on the Starlink website.
Soon, a Starlink connection without kit
It should be noted that if for the moment, Starlink kits allow a residential connection (or on boats and campers), SpaceX is preparing its next revolution: the possibility of connecting via the constellation directly on mobile.
Initially, in 2024, this new service will only support SMS. But in 2025, Starlink’s “Direct to cell” offer will also make it possible to make calls and even connect to the internet. And the advantage of this offer is that it will be compatible with all 4G smartphones. Indeed, the service is based on LTE technology.
“No modifications to hardware, firmware or special applications are required”, the company has already explained by Elon Musk. However, as “Direct to Cell” works with operators, this offer will not be available everywhere in the world. Currently, Starlink's partners for this project are T-Mobile in the United States, Rogers in Canada, KDDI in Japan, Optus in Australia, One NZ in New Zealand and SALT in Switzerland. In any case, SpaceX is already strengthening its constellation to support Direct to Cell.
- Starlink launches a new Standard connection kit
- This one has a simpler design, while being more durable and more efficient
- However, the new kit is still only available by invitation in the United States