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Starlink Debuts in Japan, Along With KDDI Integrator Deal 

By Rachel Jewett | October 13, 2022
KDDI shared an image of a Starlink installation in Japan.

KDDI shared an image of a Starlink installation in Japan. Photo: KDDI

SpaceX’s Starlink internet service is now available in parts of Japan, and the company signed an agreement with Japanese telecommunications operator KDDI to act as a Starlink integrator. 

SpaceX tweeted the announcement in Japanese on Monday, translated to “Starlink launches service in Japan — first country in Asia.” Starlink’s service map shows the satellite internet service is available in parts of Japan’s main island including the Tōhoku and Kantō regions, and parts of the Chūbu region. 

KDDI followed by announcing the agreement on Thursday. KDDI will act as an authorized Starlink integrator for customers in rural and remote areas. The company has been conducting technical demonstrations of Starlink in Japan since 2021 and said it has proven the service’s “quality and performance, including for use in mobile backhaul.”  

KDDI also highlighted that the service can be useful during natural disasters. 

“Starlink’s unmatched performance is a great fit for our persistent endeavor to bring the urban mobile experience to rural customers,” said Makoto Takahashi, president of KDDI. “With Japan having more than 16,000 mountains and 6,000 islands, Starlink’s industry-leading satellite constellation is uniquely suited to provide Japanese enterprises with reliable, sustainable internet connectivity, even in times of natural disaster.”

SpaceX is now targeting partners for its Starlink service, and the company has announced service provider deals with Speedcast, Marlink, and Anuvu. Jonathan Hofeller, SpaceX vice president of Starlink Sales, said recently at World Satellite Business Week that he is working to drive agreements with outside partners and more announcements are to come.

“We’re excited to provide a new dimension of connectivity to KDDI’s customers that require reliable high-speed, low-latency internet on land and at sea,” Hofeller commented. “Having recently launched Starlink in the country, we look forward to offering a powerful solution that we’ve seen provide critical connectivity in the over 40 countries Starlink is available in.”