Japanese telco KDDI is working with SpaceX subsidiary Starlink to restore Internet services in the country following the recent earthquake.

SpaceX Starlink Base station.jpeg
– u/darkpenguin22 via Reddit

The earthquake struck the Noto Peninsula on January 1, recording 7.6 on the Richter scale.

The earthquake, which has claimed the lives of 161 people so far, toppled buildings and sparked a major fire. More than 100 people remain missing.

KDDI is providing Starlink services to support Japan's Self-Defense Forces, electricity companies, local governments, and other organizations to help with the rescue and restoration work.

"We provide Starlink free of charge," said the company on X yesterday. "Free Wi-Fi can be used by people other than our subscribers. Today, January 7, it was delivered to the Ishikawa Prefectural Office. We will continue to provide disaster relief assistance."

KDDI signed an agreement with Starlink last year to provide satellite-to-cellular service leveraging Starlink low earth orbit satellites and KDDI national wireless spectrum nationwide.

It was revealed at the time that the partnership will see KDDI provide cellular 4G and 5G connectivity to remote islands and mountains.

As part of the agreement, the duo are set to launch SMS text services this year, and will eventually provide voice and data services.

Prior to this, KDDI Corp launched its first mobile tower that is powered by Starlink's satellite Internet broadband service in December 2022.