SpaceX, known for its spacecraft and space missions, provides satellite internet service to remote and rural areas. The service is currently available in parts of the US, Europe, Australia and South America. Despite covering a large part of the United States, there are still a lot of major areas that do not have service. Now, T-Mobile and SpaceX have announced a partnership that will shape the future of the internet.
T-Mobile CEO and President Mike Seifert made the news at SpaceX Starbase stating that the future vision is to “end mobile dead zones.” Currently, there are many areas that are not covered by cellular networks and will never be covered. In order to provide coverage for these areas, SpaceX will launch satellites that will allow communication. The satellites will be launched next year and the technology will work with existing phones. It is hoped that this service, coverage above and beyond, will be available starting in late 2023. The initial release will support access to messaging, MMS, and select messaging apps. Eventually, the service will be expanded to include voice and internet.
Seifert declared, “Almost anywhere in the United States where you can see the sky, you’re connected to your current phone.” Of course, this is just the beginning and it won’t happen overnight. He expressed his desire to establish global connectivity with other cellular service providers in other countries so that anyone visiting the United States could connect to the satellite service. In Un-carrier fashion, he also mentioned that this feature will be included in their popular wireless plans for free, with lower-level plans to pay a fee. The fees will be much lower than the traditional satellite service currently available.
Elon Musk, chief engineer at SpaceX, stated that this is a service that can save lives, and give people access to a service where there is no service. In order for this service to work, Musk said, SpaceX will send Starlink Gen2 satellites with special antennas into space, and will also have large receivers in rural areas. While exciting, Musk was quick to fill in the details, noting that this is not a replacement for existing mobile services and is more for emergencies. He added that every cellular station on Earth would be able to receive thousands of calls and millions of messages. As mentioned earlier, this service will be rolled out in beta at the end of 2023.
source: SpaceX (YouTube)