SpaceX has begun applying for Starlink gateway licenses in at least four Australian cities – Broken Hill, Boorowa, Wagin, and Pimba – in one of the final steps needed before Starlink internet can begin operating on the continent.
SpaceX began filing for gateway licenses within the past few days. @VedaPrime on Twitter showed the applications and frequencies, locations, and emissions predictions for each site.
#Starlink Australia – 24 licences applied for now in total across 4 locations – Broken Hill, Boorowa, Wagin, Pimba
12 frequencies in each location pic.twitter.com/X2spp5d0PN
— VedaPrime (@VedaPrime) October 20, 2020
SpaceX has been working toward getting Starlink to become operational in Australia for several months, but the company has had to jump through a series of regulatory hurdles in order to gain approval for the satellite internet service’s functionality in the country.
In February, Starlink passed the first regulatory hurdle as it was approved to use Australian radio frequencies as a foreign-owned satellite. This was confirmed by ABC News Australia, who revealed that the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) approved Starlink’s satellites to become apart of the Foreign Space Objects Determination (FSOD). The FSOD outlines the list of companies that are approved to use Australian airspace.
Now, SpaceX must gain a final, more challenging regulatory approval by obtaining a spectrum license that will allow the Starlink satellites to communicate to ground stations that are based in Australia. The ACMA stated that SpaceX’s “inclusion in the determination does not confer a right on that entity to obtain a license, rather it is a prerequisite before a space apparatus license can be issued.” Carrier license thus in hand, a spectrum license is still needed to ensure that Starlink does not interfere with existing Australian communications services.
Starlink’s Australian approval is just one of many countries that SpaceX will have to go through in order to create a fully-operational internet infrastructure that can be utilized by people worldwide. Starlink will use a constellation of between 4,400 and 40,000 internet-emitting satellites that will create affordable and reliable connections for people across the world.
Earlier today, Teslarati reported that Microsoft Azure had announced a partnership with SpaceX that will give customers the ability to both access and deploy cloud computing capabilities with the help of Starlink’s infrastructure.