Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has plans to beam internet from space to moving vehicles starting later this year.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service is live and available in a limited beta in some regions, including places in Canada. For the moment, it doesn’t work on the move — the beta sign-up forms clearly state that Starlink is limited to the location users enter at checkout.
However, that restriction is because the Starlink satellite constellation isn’t complete yet, but it may not stay that way for long. In a tweet (it’s always a tweet), Musk said Starlink service “should be fully mobile later this year” and could be used “on an RV or truck in motion.”
Yeah, should be fully mobile later this year, so you can move it anywhere or use it on an RV or truck in motion. We need a few more satellite launches to achieve compete coverage & some key software upgrades.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 15, 2021
For some added context, CNBC reported in March on an FCC application to allow Starlink to bring service to moving vehicles. At the time, Musk tweeted that Starlink terminals would be too big for Tesla cars, but suggested it could work for larger vehicles like trucks, RVs, aircraft or ships.
As with anything Musk tweets, I’d take it with a grain of salt. At the same time, expanding Starlink with support for moving vehicles could make the service more popular. Satellite TV was popular among RV and camping trailer owners since they could use it to watch TV while camping — if Starlink allows the same kind of mobile service, it may become a favourite for camping enthusiasts and people who travel often.
Those interested in learning more about Starlink should check out MobileSyrup’s explainer about the service.