SpaceX authorized to connect Starlink to moving vehicles — Analysis

US regulators said Elon Musk’s aerospace firm may tie its satellite web network to American vehicles

SpaceX received approval to connect its Starlink internet service orbitally to US-registered cars, such as boats and planes, according to the US Department of Transportation. Regulators shot down objections to the scheme raised by the firm’s corporate rivals. 

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), announced that SpaceX will be allowed to continue operating. “unlimited Ku-band” – frequencies largely used for satellite comms – “in the territorial waters of the United States and aboard US-registered vessels throughout international waters worldwide.”

“Authorizing a new class of terminals for SpaceX’s satellite system will expand the range of broadband capabilities to meet the growing user demands that now require connectivity while on the move,”The FCC stated that approval is required for all purposes. “vessels, land vehicles and aircraft.”

SpaceX raises 5G concerns

Dish TV attempted to stop the authorization in the midst of a heated dispute with SpaceX about its use 5G technology. However, the FCC stated that it had rejected the petition and suggested responses from SpaceX satisfied any concerns. 

SpaceX has objected to Dish’s 5G plans, issuing a review last month which concluded that such networks could pose serious problems for Starlink internet users due to interference. 

Jeffrey Blum of Dish Public Policy said Dish is reviewing the FCC Order. However, Blum noted that Starlink was Starlink’s vehicle service. “has to accept any and all interference from future 5G operations and that they must clearly disclose such limitations to their customers.”

SpaceX currently operates around 2,700 Starlink satellites from low-earth orbit. These satellites provide internet services for hundreds upon thousands. Musk however has indicated that he would like to see SpaceX reach 42,000 by the end of the decade in order to greatly expand its coverage.

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