Model 3 compatible with the Starlink network?

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ng0

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#1
I've been reading a little about Starlink network that Musk is launching with SpaceX. It should be a network of satellites that allow for high speed internet access all over the world. It got me thinking... is the Model 3 compatible with this future network of satellites? If so it makes sense to me that we have very little info about how long we'll actually get "free" LTE or 3G service. Maybe in the next few years it'll be a non-issue. Thoughts?
 

garsh

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That undoubtedly must be the long-term plan.

I think it's possible, but unlikely, that any current vehicle is compatible with a future network. But, if Tesla planned for this, it might be easy to swap out a "modem" module with a new one. I know that the early Model S's came with 3G connectivity. Did Tesla provide an upgrade to LTE for those owners? If so, this would be a similar undertaking.
 

ng0

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That undoubtedly must be the long-term plan.

I think it's possible, but unlikely, that any current vehicle is compatible with a future network. But, if Tesla planned for this, it might be easy to swap out a "modem" module with a new one. I know that the early Model S's came with 3G connectivity. Did Tesla provide an upgrade to LTE for those owners? If so, this would be a similar undertaking.
I haven't heard anything about Model S owners getting LTE installed in their cars. Hopefully all it'll eventually require would be a sim card swap out, but who knows! Free data in the Model 3 forever would be a huge benefit! It's a little scary to think many of the functions in a car could be completely dependent on a third party cell service network.
 

Frully

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It occurred to me...Tesla must be paying an absolute fortune in data fees for LTE in premium connectivity...particularly where video is concerned. There is no way that the $10/mo would reasonably cover the maps and audio usage for an average user in my Canadian opinion...

Speculation: ISP too expensive? Build your own. In orbit.
Obviously not JUST for Tesla...but spaceternet is an absolute freebie slam dunk, especially if they can reuse the existing LTE modems with a possibly new antenna.

Also...Chrome believes that Spaceternet is a word. I'm not surprised.
 

TrevP

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I too kind of think that eventually Tesla will use the star link system for connectivity. Not out of the realm to take advantage of lower costs to connect the fleet.
What that entails in terms of changes to the cars such as antennas and radios is unknown
 

garsh

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especially if they can reuse the existing LTE modems with a possibly new antenna.
A Starlink antenna will be a phased array antenna, and is going to be about the size of a pizza box. So the only way to fit it onto a vehicle would be to integrate it into the roof in some fashion. So they'd probably have to do away with glass roofs.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/24/s...ink-info-after-launch-of-first-60-satellites/

Example phased-array antenna:
http://rfmicrotech.com/products-smart-solutions/antennas-and-phased-arrays/
 

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A Starlink antenna will be a phased array antenna, and is going to be about the size of a pizza box. So the only way to fit it onto a vehicle would be to integrate it into the roof in some fashion. So they'd probably have to do away with glass roofs.
Think outside the pizza box!

They can break down the antenna to its elements, and embed small strips of wire inside or on the surface of the roof glass, like defrosters. There are cars that currently do this with FM, AM, and SiriusXM antennas.

It's also possible they can use more densely packed antenna strips and put those inside the plastic side mirrors instead of the LTE antenna.

And the more far-fetched alternative, do like SiriusXM and have terrestrial booster stations. Tesla could use its own supercharger locations for those.

What I think is interesting though is we're heading rapidly toward a point where Apple will be able to do what they meant to in the first place with the iPhone before giving in to AT&T. Originally it was supposed to have its own wifi mesh network independent of wireless carriers (which is why iMessage existed, to replace the 'missing' SMS functionality), but it proved to be too expensive to build out.
 

shareef777

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#10
It occurred to me...Tesla must be paying an absolute fortune in data fees for LTE in premium connectivity...particularly where video is concerned. There is no way that the $10/mo would reasonably cover the maps and audio usage for an average user in my Canadian opinion...

Speculation: ISP too expensive? Build your own. In orbit.
Obviously not JUST for Tesla...but spaceternet is an absolute freebie slam dunk, especially if they can reuse the existing LTE modems with a possibly new antenna.

Also...Chrome believes that Spaceternet is a word. I'm not surprised.
Especially when ATT charges $15 a month as an add-on for a watch that pulls down less than a gig of data a month.
 

garsh

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They can break down the antenna to its elements, and embed small strips of wire inside or on the surface of the roof glass, like defrosters. There are cars that currently do this with FM, AM, and SiriusXM antennas.
That could work. It would block much more of the view than defroster lines currently do. But that wouldn't be the end of the world.
It's also possible they can use more densely packed antenna strips and put those inside the plastic side mirrors instead of the LTE antenna.
That won't work. Phased array antennas are very dependent on geometry. They really do require a uniform and sizable surface area. You won't be able to shove these antennas into mirror housings.
 

Ed Woodrick

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#12
A Starlink antenna will be a phased array antenna, and is going to be about the size of a pizza box. So the only way to fit it onto a vehicle would be to integrate it into the roof in some fashion. So they'd probably have to do away with glass roofs.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/05/24/s...ink-info-after-launch-of-first-60-satellites/

Example phased-array antenna:
http://rfmicrotech.com/products-smart-solutions/antennas-and-phased-arrays/
But there could be a number of options, including a low data rate solution. Which could possible be integrated into the car.
Things like maps download could be handled similarly, but with a continuous download like some DirecTV does with their schedule.

Until more is known, it's hard to discount anything.
 

TomT

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#13
That, certainly, would require a new modem and receiver, and very likely a new antenna as well... Satellite frequencies and transmission protocols are very different from cellular.

I too kind of think that eventually Tesla will use the star link system for connectivity. Not out of the realm to take advantage of lower costs to connect the fleet.
What that entails in terms of changes to the cars such as antennas and radios is unknown
 

JasonF

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#14
That, certainly, would require a new modem and receiver, and very likely a new antenna as well... Satellite frequencies and transmission protocols are very different from cellular.
Thinking about it further, it's more likely Teslas would use a combo of satellite and ground boosters, like Sirius XM. Otherwise Teslas would have no data access inside parking garages, home garages, and tunnels.
 

garsh

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#15
I was assuming that a Starlink Antenna would just generally need to be aimed "up", and that would be good enough. But given Elon's latest tweet, they're planning on a directional, motorized antenna. If that's the case, then forget about ever seeing one on a car.