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SpaceX Deployed Satellites In Orbit For Direct Connection With Smartphones

SpaceX completed its first Falcon 9 rocket launch of 2024, delivering 21 Starlink satellites into orbit. At the same time, six devices support Direct to Cell (DTC) technology, which allows ordinary smartphones to be connected directly to them without any modifications, SpaceX founder Elon Musk wrote on Twitter (X).

The rocket was launched at 19:44 US Pacific time from the Space Launch Complex 4 East (SLC-4E) launch pad at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The launch was originally scheduled for mid-December, but SpaceX had to postpone the mission due to some unspecified issues.

According to SpaceX, the addition of the DTC service “will enable mobile network operators around the world to provide seamless global access to text messages, calls and web browsing…on land, lakes or coastal waters.”

At the initial stage, only text messaging through space is planned, and the ability to transmit voice and data will appear in 2025.  To do this, SpaceX must obtain regulatory approval to provide these services. In the meantime, it only has a temporary experimental license to begin testing this system in the United States of America.

As follows from the company’s statements, it is planned to launch 840 direct communication satellites into orbit in the first half of 2024.

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