Telstra Group, Australia's leading telecommunications firm, announced on Monday, July 3rd, its partnership with SpaceX's Starlink to provide fixed broadband satellite and home voice services to rural Australians. This collaboration aims to bridge the digital divide by offering reliable and high-speed internet connectivity to remote areas that have limited access to traditional terrestrial networks.
Under this agreement, Telstra will bundle Starlink broadband services with home phone service, providing a comprehensive package for customers in rural regions. Additionally, Telstra will extend local tech support and offer professional installation options to ensure a seamless customer experience.
The partnership with Starlink will not only benefit residential customers but also provide connectivity solutions for businesses operating in areas without fixed and mobile connectivity options. Telstra will offer a higher bandwidth business package, catering to the specific needs of enterprises in remote locations. The business offering will be available for purchase from Telstra locally and in select international markets.
"We're expecting to be able to offer this to customers and businesses towards the end of 2023, when we'll also be able to share our unique pricing and plan details as well as how basic voice calls will work with our modem, which will be offered with the service," stated a Telstra representative. The company currently utilizes a combination of technologies, including “nbn fixed broadband,” its mobile network, and “older copper and radio networks” to deliver voice and broadband services in rural and remote Australia. The inclusion of Starlink's satellite connectivity will augment Telstra's existing offerings, particularly in areas where distance and challenging terrain pose obstacles to reliable connectivity.
One of the key advantages of SpaceX’s Starlink Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites is their proximity to the Earth's surface compared to geostationary satellites. Operating in a constellation, these satellites enable faster signal transmission and reception, offering superior data throughput. Furthermore, the reduced latency of LEO satellites makes them an ideal solution for services that require low latency, such as voice and video calls.
Telstra's team has been conducting field tests of Starlink's service and exploring ways to optimize its offering to customers. They have been developing a modem specifically designed to support Starlink connectivity in Australian households. The company expressed excitement about unveiling this innovation later in the year, emphasizing its commitment to improving connectivity for all Australians, regardless of their location. –“We truly believe in improving connectivity for all Australians, regardless of where you live work and play. Adding LEO satellites as an option both for customers and to bolster our connectivity options in regional areas brings us a big leap closer to closing this digital divide,” stated Telstra representatives.
With Telstra's Starlink integration, rural Australians can look forward to enhanced connectivity, empowering them with access to online resources, communication tools, and economic opportunities previously limited by geographical constraints.
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About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.