The FCC has received an application from SpaceX to launch a new service – telephony and voice calls. The technical part will be implemented using the Starlink network, and economically it will be tied to the federal telephony program Lifeline. This will subsidize services and make it easier for the poor to access them.
It should be clarified that SpaceX does not plan to build a new network from scratch – on the contrary, the company is going to use the existing communication lines, the public telephone network. It will be supplemented with VoIP communications using broadband Internet access via Starlink. It will be possible to use it through a compatible phone from any manufacturer.
SpaceX does not rule out that if the service turns out to be in demand, they can develop their own applications and services for voice communication. But the main aspect is still financial, today Starlink services are used by about 10 thousand clients who pay $ 99 per month and $ 499 of the starting fee. Enrolling in the Lifeline program will save them $ 9.25 (about 10%) – not too much, but quite a logical step to attract wider audience users.