SpaceX-owned Starlink targeted 2024 for the launch of a commercial satellite-to-phone service, beginning with SMS before adding voice and data services, and IoT connectivity in 2025.

Starlink began advertising the service on its website, noting the set up will work with unmodified LTE phones.

It claimed the service would “enable ubiquitous access to texting, calling and browsing”.

The company noted partnerships struck with various mobile operators including T-Mobile US, Rogers Communications and Optus, citing access to “reciprocal global access” in countries where it has such deals.

Starlink’s service depends on the launch of its second-generation satellites, a process being somewhat hampered by problems with SpaceX’s Starship rockets.

These mean Starlink must continue to employ the rocket company’s Falcon 9 launcher, forcing it to slightly downsize its V2 satellites due to a smaller payload capacity.

The so-called V2 Mini birds are still larger than Starlink’s first generation, with company information noting they offer “four-times the capacity” of its original fleet.

Starlink noted the satellites will sport “advanced eNodeB modems” which mimic mobile towers and enable “network integration similar to a standard roaming partner”.

The company is in a global race to provide phone services with rival satellite operators, mobile operators and phone vendors.

Apple launched an SOS messaging service on Globalstar’s satellite network in 2022, while Lynk Global and AST SpaceMobile both stated they were the first to offer two-way voice calls.

Last month Vodafone laid claim to making the first space-based 5G call, using an AST SpaceMobile test satellite and AT&T spectrum.