Elon Musk's SpaceX and T-Mobile to Link Satellites to Mobile Phones, 'Eliminating Dead Zones Worldwide'
Tesla cars will also be able to connect to new Starlink satellites in the future.
The service will be particularly useful in areas with no cell coverage, particularly when there's an emergency, SpaceX founder Musk said at an event in Texas.
SpaceX and T-Mobile said in a press release that the new plan would "provide near complete coverage in most places in the US — even in many of the most remote locations previously unreachable by traditional cell signals."
The service is expected to launch next year with T-Mobile using its mid-band spectrum to create a new network, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said at the same event. It will work with most phones and text service is the first to be rolled out, he added.
Musk also made the announcement on his Twitter feed, saying the new service was aimed at "eliminating dead zones worldwide." Tesla cars would also be able to connect to new Starlink satellites that are able to transmit mobile phones, Musk said in response to questions about the function.
Note, connectivity will be 2 to 4 Mbits per cell zone, so will work great for texting & voice calls, but not high bandwidth— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 26, 2022
SpaceX's Starlink was initially set up to provide high-speed internet to people living in rural areas with spotty coverage. It has a user base of over 400,000 subscribers worldwide and over 2,800 satellites in low-Earth orbit.
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