Starlinks Growing Presence in Australia - Reducing Digital Divide in Rural Australia

Starlinks Growing Presence in Australias Telecom Sector and Transforming Connectivity in Remote Areas. 

Source AFR:

Telstra announced a deal to offer internet and voice calls via Mr Musk’s Starlink service on Tuesday, which uses a constellation of small, lower-orbiting satellites providing faster speeds than the NBN Sky Muster. 

Telstra’s broadband deal with Starlink is non-exclusive, meaning the challenger could still pitch its services to NBN. However, Telstra has exclusivity in providing voice call services through Starlink.

The second-largest Australian telecommunications company announced a deal on Wednesday that will let users access the internet and make calls on their phones via Starlink’s satellites from late 2025. 

Beaming signals from space would also help Optus compete with Telstra’s superior regional tower network. The Optus-Starlink partnership also poses a risk to the NBN Co because the same SIM cards that a phone uses to connect to a satellite could also be used by households for home internet. 

That will only come into play if the capacity is high enough because home internet usage is typically much higher than mobile phone data. 
Standard NBN services used an average of 452 gigabytes of data a month last year, those on fixed satellite connections used 189 gigabytes while mobile users consumed just 14.5 gigabytes, according to ACCC data. 

 The deal with Starlink was intended to be a new product aimed at mobile phone customers and would not require a new device to connect to the service when they left an area with the signal from ground towers. Asked whether Optus’ deal was exclusive, Mr Williams said: “This is a unique experience that Optus customers will have.” 

 Optus plans to start its Starlink service capacity for text messages in late 2024 before expanding to voice and the internet towards the end of 2025. It has not announced how fast the connections will be, except that they will be transmitted via the last generation 4G system or their pricing.


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