Could Tesla And SpaceX Join Hands For Global Internet Service?

OCT 20 2018 BY EVANNEX 20


As anyone who’s stuck paying an onerous bill to a local internet monopoly will agree, there’s a great market opportunity out there for any company that could offer a global wireless internet connection. SpaceX has been working on just that since 2015, developing a broadband satellite constellation called Starlink. A recent article in SmarterAnalyst proposes that Tesla could be an integral part of the plan.

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: The SpaceX initiative, Starlink, looks to create a new worldwide satellite broadband network (Twitter: Future Timeline)

According to SmarterAnalyst, SpaceX is set to invest around $10 billion in Starlink. Satellite launches are scheduled to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2024. Starlink’s satellites will be located just 210 to 750 miles above the ground, one of the lowest satellite constellations ever launched. The lower the satellites, the faster communication speeds can be. Starlink hopes to offer internet speeds of 1,000 Mbps, comparable to 5G (about 1,400 Mbps). However, to provide the blazing fast connection speeds Starlink is promising, it needs to have ground transceivers – small terminals mounted on customers’ homes or businesses, analogous to satellite dishes.

Above: The possibility of Tesla snd SpaceX working together could potentially happen with the Starlink initiative (Image: Tesla)

That’s where Tesla comes in – SmarterAnalyst speculates that Starlink could use Tesla vehicles as ground transceivers, reducing the number of antennas that need to be installed in areas where Tesla cars are present. Tesla vehicles will probably be outfitted with receptors connected to the Starlink satellites to provide fast and reliable in-car Wi-Fi. However, the receptor could also be built as a transceptor, allowing each Tesla vehicle not only to receive a signal, but to act as a local Wi-Fi hotspot.

Above: Earlier this year, Musk successfully began the SpaceX Starlink program (Youtube: Wochit News

All Tesla vehicles are outfitted with a module that supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. The internet capabilities are currently only used to relay Autopilot data back to Tesla, but according to SmarterAnalyst, Tesla has the technology to turn each vehicle into a mobile hotspot. In April of 2018, Tesla applied for an FCC license for a DXX Part 15 Low Power Communication Device Transmitter. Could this transmitter be integrated into future vehicles, making each one a mobile internet service provider? Exciting times lie ahead.


Written by: Charles Morris; Source: SmarterAnalyst

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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20 Comments on "Could Tesla And SpaceX Join Hands For Global Internet Service?"

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Maybe they could also route mobile phone service through the Starlink network so I could finally dump my greedy wireless provider and instead support Tesla with my $.

Don’t let the cat out of the bag yet lol

Makes sense, they can use Teslas to deliver the routers?

I could get excited about a Model 3 ‘access point’ sitting in my garage replacing my $70/month internet plan. I’d just have to figure out how to make it work when my wife is driving the wifi router. :-).

Make a deal with your neighbor to share his Model 3 wifi.

I wonder if SpaceX has also considered using Starlink as a posssible Earth to Moon or Mars communication pathway using lasers. Since the Starlink cluster would be above the clouds, communicating via laser should work.

Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

Satellite to moon laser might require a lot of power. Besides what does the moon have to send? Old episodes of Moonlighting, or the Honeymooners?

There wouldn’t be any advantage to using a low-power communications satellite to relay communications to Mars. Signals would have to be routed thru a higher power satellite anyway, so best cut out the middleman and use just a single geosynchronous satellite as the relay. (Possibly different satellites for different transmissions, but just one satellite as the single relay point for any individual transmission.)

Re communications to Luna… who or what are you gonna “talk” to there? Moon rocks?

Talk of Lunar Space Station and use as a stepping stone to other planets has been discussed. Current century communication tech will be needed. Starlink can kill two birds with one stone and supply that communication if engineers plan for it.

Volt#671 + BoltEV + Model 3

I pay $39/month to Comcast for 3 Mbps cable internet. The day I have an alternative is the day I leave them — and it will be a glorius day.

Really can’t wait to ditch Comcast

I keep reading this at “Starklink”, and something about my Tesla becoming a Decepticon.

I really can’t think of any other industry that Americans hate more than internet and cable providers. Personally, I would pay Tesla $10 more than I currently pay comicast just to be able to give them the finger.

Tesla could replace your cable, phone and Internet with one service. Adios, dying cable giant monopolies. Where do I sign up?

I wouldn’t be happy that my car be a permanent high-emitter of microwaves.

Also, way more important than speed, once you reach 10 Mbits/s, is round-trip delays. People suggesting to use the moon as reflector, are forgetting that speed of light is not that much (lol) and even staying on earth straight fiber lines, accounts for 100 ms (0.1 seconds round-trip delay e.g. between Europe and California, which lowers overall transmission speed and websites reactivity (many round-trips are needed to display most web-pages, which is amounting to seconds with such distances).

Although it would be a nice idea, I think I read something from an interview with Elon Musk in which he stated that for starlink a small satellite dish is required, and that there are no current plans to outfit the cars with those. As for Starlink itself, I would gladly replace my current internet provider with that one. Would be nice if instead of a long term contract, one could buy the necessary hardware and then access to the network on a monthly basis by some kind of prepaid system. That way, it would be easy to go elsewhere for work for a few weeks and not pay internet at your regular place of living that you can’t use on account of being elsewhere.

I’m confused the article said that satellites are scheduled to deployed in 2019. They already deployed satellites earlier this year and even the video said so. I remember a mission where Space X sent I think 10 satellites in space earlier this year. I forget the total number of satellites but I think it was in the thousands.
Of course Tesla will join with Space X for global Internet Service.

Those previous ones are test satellites.

So OnStar, except it doesn’t suck.

Yes…there is likely to be a Tesla play in Starlink, but I don’t think Musk wants to conflate the two at this date.