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What Is Starlink? And Could Tesla Be Involved?

As anyone who’s stuck paying an onerous bill to a local internet monopoly will agree, there’s a great market opportunity out there for any company that could offer a global wireless internet connection. SpaceX has been working on just that since 2015, developing a broadband satellite constellation called Starlink. A recent article in SmarterAnalyst proposes that Tesla could be an integral part of the plan.

Originally published on EVANNEX

As anyone who’s stuck paying an onerous bill to a local internet monopoly will agree, there’s a great market opportunity out there for any company that could offer a global wireless internet connection. SpaceX has been working on just that since 2015, developing a broadband satellite constellation called Starlink. A recent article in SmarterAnalyst proposes that Tesla could be an integral part of the plan.

Starlink hopes to offer internet speeds of 1,000 Mbps, comparable to 5G (about 1,400 Mbps). However, to provide the blazing fast connection speeds Starlink is promising, it needs to have ground transceivers — small terminals mounted on customers’ homes or businesses, analogous to satellite dishes.According to SmarterAnalyst, SpaceX is set to invest around $10 billion in Starlink. Satellite launches are scheduled to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2024. Starlink’s satellites will be located just 210 to 750 miles above the ground, one of the lowest satellite constellations ever launched. The lower the satellites, the faster communication speeds can be.

That’s where Tesla comes in — SmarterAnalyst speculates that Starlink could use Tesla vehicles as ground transceivers, reducing the number of antennas that need to be installed in areas where Tesla cars are present. Tesla vehicles will probably be outfitted with receptors connected to the Starlink satellites to provide fast and reliable in-car Wi-Fi. However, the receptor could also be built as a transceptor, allowing each Tesla vehicle not only to receive a signal, but to act as a local Wi-Fi hotspot.

https://youtu.be/cP44x5IkpWU

Earlier this year, Musk successfully began the SpaceX Starlink program (YouTube: Wochit News

All Tesla vehicles are outfitted with a module that supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. The internet capabilities are currently only used to relay Autopilot data back to Tesla, but according to SmarterAnalyst, Tesla has the technology to turn each vehicle into a mobile hotspot.

In April of 2018, Tesla applied for an FCC license for a DXX Part 15 Low Power Communication Device Transmitter. Could this transmitter be integrated into future vehicles, making each one a mobile internet service provider? Exciting times lie ahead.

 
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Written By

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.

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