Japanese telco KDDI to use SpaceX Starlink for mobile backhaul

Telco to connect 1,200 remote towers with low-Earth orbit satellite connectivity.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor on
Image: Getty Images

Japanese telco KDDI said on Monday it planned to use SpaceX Starlink as a backhaul provider for connecting 1,200 remote towers.

Due to the low-Earth orbit of the satellite, KDDI claimed it would offer "an urban mobile connectivity experience" to those in the country. The backhaul is set to be operational some time in 2022.

Starlink currently has an experimental licence in Japan for its ground station installed at KDDI's Yamaguchi Satellite Communication Center, with both companies involved in conducting tests on the solution.

Last month, Elon Musk announced that Starlink had shipped 100,000 terminals to customers.

Under the project, beta services are currently operating in 11 different countries. SpaceX outlined as part of beta services that users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mbps to 150Mbps and latency from 20ms to 40ms in "most locations over the next several months" while the Starlink system continues to be enhanced. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all, the company added.

Starlink previously said it expected its global satellite broadband service to be live this month.

In May, it was announced that Google and SpaceX signed a deal to put Starlink ground stations in Google data centres.

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