T-Mobile partners with SpaceX for satellite service, beta starting in 2023

T-Mobile partners with SpaceX for satellite service, beta starting in 2023

Despite covering a large part of the United States, there are still plenty of major areas that don’t have cellular service. Now, T-Mobile and SpaceX have announced a partnership that will shape the future of mobile connectivity.

T-Mobile CEO and President Mike Sievert delivered the news at SpaceX Starbase stating that the vision going forward was to “end mobile dead zones.” Currently, there are many areas that are not covered by cellular networks and never will be. In order to provide coverage to these areas, SpaceX will be launching satellites that will make it possible to connect. The satellites will launch next year and the technology will work with existing phones. The hopes are to have this service, Coverage Above and Beyond, available starting in late 2023. The initial rollout will support access to messaging, MMS, and select messaging apps. Eventually, the service will be expanded to include voice and internet.

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Sievert declared that “nearly anywhere in the US where you can see the sky, you’re connected with your existing phone.” Of course, this is just the beginning and it won’t be happening overnight. He expressed interest in creating a global connection with other cellular providers in other countries so that anyone visiting the US could connect to the satellite service. In Un-carrier fashion, he also stated that this feature would be included in its popular wireless plans for free, with lower-tier plans having to pay a fee. The fee would be much less than the traditional satellite service currently available.

Elon Musk, who is SpaceX’s Chief Engineer, stated that this is a service that can potentially save lives, giving people access to service where there is no service. Musk stated that in order for this service to work, SpaceX is sending Starlink Gen2 satellites with special antennas into space, and it will also have large receivers in place in rural areas. While it is exciting, Musk was quick to fill in the details, stating that this is not a replacement for current mobile services and that it is more for emergencies. He expanded that each cell station on land would be able to up to thousands of calls and millions of messages. As mentioned before, this service will roll out in beta towards the end of 2023.


Source: SpaceX (YouTube)

About author

Timi Cantisano
Timi Cantisano

A member of the XDA team covering consumer technology news. My passion for technology started when I purchased my first phone, the Nokia 5190. If you have questions or want to chat, contact me at [email protected] or on Twitter at @timicant.

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