Tesla cars are set to connect to the Starlink satellite phone network in the US

Tesla cars are set to connect to the Starlink satellite phone network in the US

US Tesla drivers will eventually be able to make emergency calls and text messages from areas without a phone signal following an expansion of Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite service.


Tesla electric cars will soon be able to connect to Starlink – a network of a few thousand communications satellites operated by Elon Musk’s company SpaceX – to make emergency calls and text messages.

Beginning in 2023, the Starlink service, which provides internet services, will be expanded to allow users in remote areas of the United States that traditional phone service can’t reach to make calls and text messages from their phones.

Designed around”[eliminate] “Death Zones Worldwide,” the service will launch with cellphones – but Elon Musk has confirmed it will eventually expand to Tesla cars.



On Twitter Over the weekend, Musk replied “yes” to users asking if Tesla vehicles could connect to Starlink for “emergency calls and texting” — and whether such a system would be part of Tesla’s Premium Connectivity subscription, which is $9.99 per month costs Australia.

While the system would make calling and texting easier when traditional phone service isn’t available, its speed – closer to the older 3G phone signal and not the 4G and 5G services that are widely available today – means it’s not ideal for web browsing is.

It also cannot support the car’s navigation system – but this has yet to be confirmed.



Tesla cars currently rely on traditional 4G data networks for internet access, music streaming and navigation – running through the AT&T network in the US or another provider in Australia.

Meanwhile, Starlink phone service would only be available to US customers on the T-Mobile network.

Starlink is compatible with existing phones and uses part of T-Mobile’s existing 5G cellular network for operation (but allows access where there is no phone coverage).



While there’s no indication Starlink phone service will be coming to Australia – or local Tesla cars – the web version of the service is available here and is aimed at recreational vehicle (RV) owners venturing into remote areas.

Currently available for the lower half of Australia – but set to roll out nationwide early next year – it allows remote access to the internet at NBN-like speeds in remote areas, albeit only when stationary.

The “modem” needed to connect to the service can be ordered for less than $1100 (shipping included) — followed by a $174 monthly fee for an unlimited data subscription.



Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017 when he launched his own website Redline. He worked for Drive in 2018 before joining CarAdvice in 2019 and becoming a regular journalist on the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role in Alex’s life, from leafing through car magazines at a young age to growing up surrounded by performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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