Telstra has signed an agreement to become the first telco in the world to use Starlink low-earth-orbit Satellites for voice-only services while at the same time offering Starlink Broadband to regional and remote Australia.

Essentially, where the copper lines for phones are degraded, out of reach or impossible to install, Telstra will now put a Starlink Satellite on your roof, and your home phone will connect via Elon Musk’s satellites.

CEO of Telstra Vicki Brady said it was part of Telstra’s T25 strategy “Telstra is always looking to invest in new and better connectivity options for our customers. We know that collaborating with the right partners is one of the best ways to help unlock a digital future, in this case for people in rural and remote Australia looking for an improved voice or broadband service,” Ms Brady said. 

“Our teams have been out across the country testing and trialling Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite technology to ensure we understand where it’s the best solution for our consumer and business customers. 

“What will set our offer apart is the addition of Telstra voice service, a professional install option and the ability to get local help with your set up if needed. 

That last line is critical, with Starlink already available to pretty much all Australians, the only real stumbling block for some is installation as the Starlink dish does not come roof ready – it comes set to be standing on the grass or a flat surface with additional accessories required for a roof style installation.

No pricing or plans available at this stage, that will come closer to launch which Telstra is hoping to be later this year.

Also no word on how this might figure in Telstra’s 5G Advanced plans, which will offer 5G Voice and Data to all areas of Australia via Low Earth Orbit satellite and if Starlink will be used for that service.