TeleGeography Logo

Satellite-to-cellphone testing to commence this year, Starlink exec reveals

15 Mar 2023

Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite operator SpaceX plans to begin testing its Starlink satellite-to-cell service with T-Mobile US later this year, an executive at Elon Musk’s company revealed this week. Speaking during a panel at the Satellite 2023 conference in Washington DC, Jonathan Hofeller, Vice President of Starlink Sales, was quoted as saying: ‘We’re going to learn a lot by doing – not necessarily by overanalysing – and getting out there.’ SpaceX has launched about 4,000 Starlink satellites to date and reached the one million fixed broadband subscriptions milestone in December 2022.

Back in August 2022 T-Mobile and SpaceX unveiled their ‘Coverage Above and Beyond’ initiative, which seeks to leverage Starlink’s LEO satellite constellation and T-Mobile’s cellular network to provide ‘near complete coverage in most places in the US – even in many of the most remote locations previously unreachable by traditional cell signals.’ The project aims to provide mobile phone coverage in ‘well over half a million square miles of the US in addition to vast stretches of ocean’ currently unserved by mobile networks, highlighting that large areas are unserved due to land-use restrictions (e.g. National Parks), terrain limits (e.g. mountains, deserts, etc.) and the sheer size of the country.

United States, SpaceX (Starlink), Starlink (US), T-Mobile US

GlobalComms Database

Want more? Peruse the GlobalComms Database—the most complete source of intel about mobile, fixed broadband, and fixed voice markets.


TeleGeography is the definitive source for telecom news, numbers, and analysis. Explore the full research catalog.