Advanced Television

Starlink announces Direct-to-Device partners

October 13, 2023

By Chris Forrester

SpaceX’s Starlink broadband-by-satellite service has established ‘’ for its Direct-to-Cell service promising “seamless access to text, voice, and data for LTE phones across the globe”.

The new service will be available from 2024/2025 (depending on its service partners). Those initial reciprocal cellular partners are named as: T-Mobile, Canada’s Rogers; Australia’s Optus; New Zealand’s One NZ, Japan’s KDDI and Germany’s Salt Mobile.

The first service offered will be Texts in 2024, followed by Voice & Data in 2025, and what Starlink says will be Internet of Things also starting in 2025.

Starlink is not alone in offering – or promising – these services. Apple, working with Globalstar, is also active while AST SpaceMobile is working with AT&T, Vodafone, “and other testing partners” for what it describes as the “first-ever space-based voice calls using everyday unmodified Smartphones”. AST SpaceMobile uses its BlueWalker 3 satellites.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s satellite operator Measat has entered a government-encouraged partnership with Starlink. Starlink opened its discussions with the Malaysian government, in a deal that included a Tesla car investment in the country, and agreed that SpaceX’s Starlink could create a subsidiary in the country without requiring the usual local investment joint-venture requirements.

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