KDDI signs agreement with SpaceX to bring satellite-to-cellular service to Japan

KDDI and SpaceX today announced an agreement to to provide satellite-to-cellular service leveraging SpaceX's Starlink low earth orbit satellites and KDDI national wireless spectrum nationwide. This will enhance KDDI's cellular connectivity to areas beyond the limits of traditional powerful 4G and 5G networks including remote islands and mountains. KDDI and SpaceX have a common vision of "connecting the unconnected" to empower customers to stay connected, and this new dimension of connectivity will turn on areas previously unreachable by cell signals from any provider.

The companies plan to start with SMS text services as early as 2024 and will eventually provide voice and data services. Almost all existing smartphones on KDDI network will be compatible with this new service as it employs the device's existing radio services.

KDDI and SpaceX also invite carriers worldwide to join the ecosystem of mobile network operators bringing next-generation satellite enabled connectivity to their customers.

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