Elon Musk just announced that the upcoming second-generation Starlink internet satellites include cellular antennas for connections with phones from T-Mobile in america, and potentially other operators aswell.
Following event, he taken care of immediately tweets asking if the connections will continue to work with Teslas electric cars, which currently hook up to AT&Ts LTE network. In accordance with Musk, the solution is yes.
He didnt get into detail about how exactly it’ll all work or just how much data owners could be prepared to access from the connections when theyre somewhere out of reach by terrestrial cellphone towers. Musk said through the event that the satellite-to-cellular coverage from Starlink will undoubtedly be with the capacity of providing a 2 – 4 Mbps link, that is shared by everyone in the satellites coverage area. That likely wont be adequate for a few premium connectivity features, like live-streaming video from your own cars cameras. Still, a link that works at all, anywhere you’ve got a view of the sky, is preferable to no connection, potentially.
In a comment to The Verge, LightShed Partners analyst Walter Piecyk remarked that enabling access can work much like an MVNO like Google Fi, which uses multiple carriers as its backbone, or that Musk could change the carrier deal from AT&T later on.
Through the years, Tesla has scaled back the connectivity packages which come standard using its electric vehicles. As explained here, cars purchased prior to the end of June 2018 include Premium Connectivity at no extra charge, while cars purchased before July 20th, 2022, all include at the very least the typical connectivity package with in-car maps and navigation. Those connections are for sale to the duration of the automobile, excluding retrofits or upgrades necessary for any features or services externally supplied to the automobile. Adding the Premium Connectivity subscription to a Tesla that doesnt own it currently costs $9.99 monthly, or $99 annually.
The recent shutdown of AT&Ts 3G network showed how that may enter into play, as older vehicles built ahead of mid-2015 lacking any LTE-capable modem could have required a $200 upgrade to remain connected.
For new or used electric cars purchased today from Tesla, they have Standard Connectivity for the rest of the eight years from the initial day your automobile was delivered as new by Tesla, or the initial day it really is placed into service (for instance used as a demonstrator or service vehicle), whichever comes first.
Update August 25th, 11PM ET: Added more information about Teslas connectivity packages.