“SpaceX launched its first batch of Starlink satellites designed to connect directly to unmodified smartphones Jan. 2 after getting a temporary experimental license to start testing the capability in the United States.

Six of the 21 Starlink satellites that launched on a Falcon 9 rocket at 10:44 p.m. Eastern from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, carry a payload that the company said could provide connectivity for most 4G LTE devices when in range.

SpaceX plans to start enabling texting from space this year in partnership with cellular operators, with voice and data connectivity coming in 2025, although the company still needs regulatory permission to provide the services commercially.”

From SpaceNews.