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After building a satellite internet constellation of thousands of spacecraft, SpaceX’s Starlink is continuing to make advances in the industry. In an announcement just moments back, the SpaceX subsidiary has shared that Starlink will now connect agricultural equipment such as tractors made by John Deere in rural areas of the U.S. Farmers and other workers often find it difficult to secure internet access in their fields due to large areas and low population density. Today’s announcement is the third big one for Starlink in 2024, as the firm announced earlier this month that it enables children in Mozambique to complete their school tasks via effective internet coverage.
SpaceX Teams Up With John Deere To Provide Internet Coverage For Farmers
The announcement came via Starlink’s X page, and it seems that Starlink is the one taking the lead on it. The X post did not share many details about Starlink’s partnership with Deere. It mentioned that starting from later this year, Deere will start equipping its existing and new equipment with Starlink. Along with the post, Starlink shared a picture of John Deere’s S790 grain harvester with a flat, stand free Starlink dish visible.
Over the course of the years, Starlink has gradually expanded its presence in several industries. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 enables Starlink to dominate low Earth orbit (LEO) when it comes to internet satellites. Therefore, Starlink is the biggest LEO satellite internet network in the world, and its scope allows SpaceX to secure partnerships in lucrative industries such as maritime shipments, air travel and others.
In fact, Starlink for maritime uses was one of Starlink’s biggest announcements in 2023. SpaceX is the only company in the world capable of vertically and autonomously landing medium lift rocket boosters in autonomous drone ships in the ocean. This architecture requires sturdy internet coverage, even if only for the live streams that SpaceX has become popular for.
Providing connectivity to users in remote areas has been a long time Starlink goal for SpaceX. SpaceX’s chief Elon Musk has stressed in several recent statements that the aim of his firm’s internet service is not to take market share away from traditional broadband internet providers but to augment global internet coverage by serving underserved areas.
In fact, one of Starlink’s biggest partnerships leverages this. It has teamed up with T-Mobile to use the latter’s network for providing satellite based cellphone coverage to users that cannot access tower based coverage. On this front, SpaceX and Starlink started out 2024 on a strong note as they announced that the first text messages on the LTE protocol had been successfully sent through unmodified phones via the Starlink network.
Other Starlink partnerships include deals with airlines. As of October 2023, Starlink was connecting more than 70 aircraft to the Internet, according to official figures shared by it. Additionally, it also mentioned that more than 400 aircraft were waiting to install the equipment. Starlink’s in flight internet coverage deals include both commercial and private airlines. One major deal came in October as well when Qatar Airways announced that it would provide complementary internet coverage on its flights through Starlink.
Starlink is ideal for rural locations. Later this year, @JohnDeere will begin equipping new and existing machines across the United States and Brazil with Starlink to help connect farmers with high-speed internet so they can fully leverage precision agriculture technologies… pic.twitter.com/Jr36oTvGa4
— Starlink (@Starlink) January 15, 2024