AT&T has some concerns about Starlink and T-Mobile satellite-to-cellular plans

AT&T raised some concerns with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday about plans by T-Mobile and Starlink owner SpaceX to allow mobile phones to connect to Starlink satellites (through Ars Technica).

In its filing, AT&T argues that SCS, or “Supplementary Coverage From Space,” should not inhibit terrestrial wireless service and that the FCC “should prioritize” protecting terrestrial networks, and that proposals from T-Mobile and SpaceX they do not have sufficient information about potential interference. “Applicants’ technical demonstrations are woefully insufficient with respect to the risk of harmful interference posed by their planned SCS deployments,” AT&T said. “The SpaceX and T-Mobile applications do not meet the threshold for the waiver and cannot be granted in their current state.”

AT&T’s presentation was part of a call for comment from the FCC about T-Mobile and SpaceX’s plans for satellite-to-cellular service, which were announced in August 2022. The idea is that it could connect to SpaceX’s second-generation Starlink satellites ready to launch this year from your mobile phone to do things like send text messages or MMS.

The service from T-Mobile and SpaceX is not expected to launch in beta until sometime before the end of this year. But if the FCC throws up hurdles after this call for comment, we may have to wait even longer.


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