AT&T filed some concerns with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday about T-Mobile and Starlink owner SpaceX’s plans to allow cell phones to connect to Starlink satellites (via Ars Technica).
In the filing, AT&T argues that SCS, or “supplemental coverage from space,” should not impede terrestrial wireless services and that the FCC should “prioritize” protecting terrestrial networks, and that T-Mobile and SpaceX’s proposals are insufficient. contain information about possible interference. “Applicants’ technical screenings are woefully inadequate with respect to the risk of harmful interference from their planned SCS deployments,” AT&T said. “SpaceX and T-Mobile’s applications fall far short of the exemption threshold and cannot be granted in their current state.”
AT&T’s filing was part of a call for comment from the FCC on T-Mobile and SpaceX’s plans for the satellite-to-cellular service, which were announced in August 2022. The idea is that you can connect to the second-generation Starlink satellites will start this year from your mobile phone to, for example, send SMS or MMS messages.
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 roadblocks in response to this call for comment, we can wait even longer.