SpaceX Requests Use of 2GHz Radio Band for Mobile Starlink Service

Photo: The Kilowatts

As Starlink continues to launch new satellites for its low-Earth orbit constellation, the company has also requested access to new frequency bands from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as detailed in a new filing with the agency.

SpaceX filed an application with the FCC to begin using the 2GHz spectrum band to operate what it calls a “Mobile-Satellite Service,” according to a report from PCMag.

The move would also require SpaceX to augment its Starlink satellites with hardware to communicate via the 2GHz band.

In the filing, SpaceX wrote, “Americans are increasingly demanding connectivity wherever they are, whenever they want, and whatever they are doing.” SpaceX continued, “In particular, they have grown accustomed to being able to connect using small, hand-held devices that they can carry with them or affix to mobile platforms.”

SpaceX says its acquisition of Swarm, a California-based startup developing nano-satellites, gives it the technology to supply internet connectivity to mobile users.

Additionally, SpaceX plans to add a “modular payload” to future Starlink launches, which would be capable of using the 2GHz radio band for mobile service.

The filing doesn’t clarify what a mobile Starlink service would look like for consumers, though it does say it will probably sell a portable device meant to connect directly to the network.