SpaceX Files for License to Build New Gateway Stations for Starlink

SpaceX files an application for a full license to build new gateway stations for Starlink in the US. The construction of gateways throughout the country will help accelerate the deployment of high-speed internet.

SpaceX is applying to build new gateways in the US

Last week, SpaceX filed for a full license with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand the ground-based infrastructure supporting the satellite internet system, PCMag reported. The company is aiming to build new “Ka band” gateway stations. They will be capable of transmitting broadband data to the first- and second-generation Starlink satellites.

Tesla is already licensed to install more than 60 ground gateway stations in the US

SpaceX already holds a license to “operate over 60 gateway earth stations” in the US. Previously, the company applied for FCC approval to operate gateway stations through separate applications. The company refers to a request for “greater flexibility to deploy earth stations where and as needed.” Demand for Starlink’s services continues to grow, requiring the company to continually request licenses from the FCC to install gateways, putting additional strain on the agency.

“This will both help to speed broadband deployment throughout the United States by enabling SpaceX Services to deploy gateways quickly to meet rising demand and add capacity and connectivity as needs arise, and also relieve the burden on the commission of processing SpaceX Services’ earth station applications,” the company wrote.

Some characteristics of gateway stations are disclosed

The application also discloses some of the characteristics of the proposed gateway stations, as well as the principles of their operation. According to the description, each earth station will utilize up to 40 identical 1.85-meter antennas. “Consistent with SpaceX’s space station authorizations, earth stations will simultaneously communicate with up to eight Gen1 satellites and up to thirty-two Gen2 satellites,” SpaceX added.

SpaceX is asking the FCC to approve the license as soon as possible

SpaceX has asked the FCC to approve the license as soon as possible. The second-generation Starlink network promises to improve speeds and address congestion issues that can hamper satellite internet for many US users. At the moment, the company has already started launching second-generation Starlink satellites. SpaceX also plans to launch more of them at high frequency once the company can safely launch its Starship into orbit.

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