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Elon Musk announces that Starlink will offer cellular coverage to T-Mobile

Elon Musk announces that Starlink will offer cellular coverage to T-Mobile
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T-Mobile says it’s getting rid of mobile dead zones thanks to a new partnership with SpaceX Starlink satellite internetat an event Hosts are Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile, and Elon Musk. With their “Coverage Above and Beyond” setup, cell phones could connect to satellites and share a portion of a link providing a connection of around 2 to 4 megabits per second (total) over a given coverage area.

According to Musk, Second generation Starlink satellites Next year’s launch will be able to broadcast the service using a portion of T-Mobile’s mid-band PCS spectrum, which was then boosted was allowed to buy Sprint a few years ago. Musk said the new satellites would have “big, big antennas” measuring 5 to 6 meters in diameter to accommodate the new connections and plans to launch equipment with them upcoming Starship rocket.

The company says it lets you text, send MMS messages and even use “select messaging apps” when you have a clear view of the sky, even when traditional service isn’t available. “If there aren’t too many people in the cell zone, you might even have a bit of video,” Musk said. As Sievert described, operators of messaging apps such as WhatsApp or iMessage need to work with T-Mobile and Starlink so that their services can detect the satellite connection and work with it once it is launched.

Musk gave a little more detail, saying that unlike usual internet services, it could work without access to Starlink’s full satellite constellation. By limiting it to certain messages and services, and only in places that don’t currently have cellular coverage, it could use a more intermittent connection for “basic” coverage, although you might have to wait 30 minutes for a message to be sent through.

The two executives said they are seeking partnerships with wireless carriers around the world that would be interested in mutual frequency-sharing deals so their customers can connect to SpaceX, and if T-Mobile customers come to other countries, they could use those connections too .

Musk said the service might even work while your phone is in your pocket or in a car.
Image: SpaceX

The service will launch in beta next year, and Sievert hopes it will include data one day. He says that T-Mobile’s “vision” at launch is for it to join the carrier’s “most popular plans” for free, though he said today’s event isn’t an official announcement. He said T-Mobile wants to make it available to people on “low-cost” plans for a “monthly service fee” that’s lower than current satellite connectivity services. (That may include a wide range of prices though – Garmins InReach Satellite Messenger Subscription PlansFor example, start at $14.95 per month but go up to $64.95 per month.)

According to T-Mobile, subscribers’ current phones can use the network — no special equipment is required. While rumors about future iPhones were circulating will include satellite communications, possibly for emergency response, isn’t the kind of technology T-Mobile is banking on here. As Elon Musk said in the announcement, “The phone you currently have will work.”

Sievert also said T-Mobile is “open” to the possibility of using SpaceX for its network backhaul in the future, particularly in rural areas. While that’s obviously a few steps ahead of what the two companies are offering now (again, Musk says each cell will support around 2-4 megabits), it could help make it less expensive for the carrier expand network. Such a plan would be similar to this what Verizon announced in collaboration with Amazon’s Kuiper satellite internet project, although that plan appears to be much further away not materialized as Amazon appears not to have launched any of its satellites yet.

Earlier this year, SpaceX lost a bid for rural internet subsidies because of the cost of his equipment. But if it can piggyback on T-Mobile’s existing equipment that people in rural areas may already own, it could help its case with the Federal Communications Commission. The presentation on Thursday certainly met the idea of ​​​​rural reporting Videos of people in remote parksthe mountains or herding animals.

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