Advanced Television

Optus, SpaceX satellite-to-mobile deal

July 13, 2023

Australian telco Optus, in collaboration with SpaceX have agreed to deliver mobile connectivity using SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation. Together, Optus and SpaceX plan to cover 100 per cent of Australia.

“Optus has always thought differently about what it means to deliver connectivity to our customers, and today we proudly provide mobile coverage to 98.5 per cent of Australia’s population through our existing network,” declared Matt Williams, Optus’s Managing Director, Marketing and Revenue.

“However, Australia’s vastness and terrain can make it difficult for any operator to provide mobile coverage everywhere it is needed – especially in remote or hard-to-reach locations.”

“Our work with SpaceX aims to bring the coverage capabilities of satellites direct to compatible mobile handsets without the need for customers to buy additional equipment.  This partnership builds on our proud history of satellite innovation in Australia.”

“This is a truly innovative model for Australia – connecting satellites to standard mobile phones – and a significant evolution beyond the services SpaceX has provided in Australia to date. It will create a unique experience for Optus customers.”

Through its agreement with SpaceX, Optus will work to expand the reach of customers’ mobile connectivity to include the 60 per cent of Australia’s land mass that currently has no mobile coverage. This will be achieved through a phased rollout of SpaceX’s satellite capability, starting with SMS in late 2024, with voice and data to follow in late 2025.

“We share Optus’s vision to improve connectivity across Australia,” commented Sara Spangelo, SpaceX’s Senior Director of Satellite Engineering. “The connectivity pairs SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation with Optus’s mobile network to transmit directly to mobile phones across the country.”

“We’re excited to collaborate with Optus and offer a solution to expand coverage and help keep customers connected regardless of where they live or travel,” she added.

The new satellite-to-phone coverage will be extensively tested before launch, with further information on its characteristics and accessibility provided closer to availability.

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