New York (CNN Business)SpaceX and T-Mobile want to beam prison cell service to “nearly places in the United states of america,” including some of the nigh remote areas of the state that traditionally have not been touched by wireless connectivity.
The idea, which the companies program to coil out in beta testing by the end next yr, is to use SpaceX’s satellite-based internet business, Starlink, to provide an “extra layer” of connectivity to T-Mobile phones. T-Mobile is also offering reciprocal roaming to cellular carriers in other countries every bit well, in the hopes that Starlink’s global reach will enable people to utilize their phones for messaging around the planet.
“This is an open up invitation to carriers effectually the globe, please go far bear upon with the states,” SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said during an consequence announcing the plan.
The new service will rely primarily on “version two,” or V2, Starlink satellites, co-ordinate to Musk. Those are not expected to begin launching earlier side by side year.
“To provide this service, the companies will create a new network, circulate from Starlink’s satellites using T-Mobile’southward midband spectrum nationwide. This true satellite-to-cellular service will provide nearly complete coverage almost anywhere a customer can see the sky,” according to a T-Mobile press release.
Satellite-based cellular service through Starlink will as well piece of work with phones on the market place today, Musk said.
Essentially, the goal is to bring nearly the “finish of mobile dead zones,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said during an event announcing the partnership at SpaceX’s facilities in S Texas. Simply it will only be available to people on T-Mobile plans, though Sievert said the “almost popular plans at T-Mobile” will get the service at no additional charge. The companies said that at showtime, service will probable be limited to text-based messages, with video and voice calls occasionally getting through. The companies plan to upgrade the service later.
“You lot might just have to wait one-half an hour, perchance, for the affair to go through, but it should still work from early on,” Musk added.
“It’s not a substitute for ground cell stations, because ground cell stations especially in urban and suburban areas will definitely be superior to what we’re talking about here. This is really meant to provide basic coverage to areas that are currently completely dead.”
T-Mobile says it estimates that “well over half a one thousand thousand square miles” of the Us are “untouched by cell signals,” according to a press release.
Musk billed it as a mission to “save lives,” as information technology could provide people with connectivity in emergency situations, such every bit when hiking in remote areas.
It’s well known that big swaths of the United States don’t have internet access or jail cell service. While jail cell service relies on towers that beam connectivity across certain areas, and traditional broadband connections crave webs of hole-and-corner cables, SpaceX’southward Starlink has taken a dissimilar approach to connectivity. Its services relies on hives of satellites just a few hundred miles higher up Earth that work in tandem to beam connectivity.
It remains to exist seen how effective the partnership will be and how many wireless customers volition benefit. Starlink is also even so a new service with only about half a million users so far.
The news comes just two weeks after federal regulators appear that SpaceX would not receive the nearly $900 million in subsidies that the company was awarded in December, citing the fact that its satellite-based service is “however developing technology” and the company “failed to demonstrate that [it] could deliver the promised service.”
The Federal Communications Committee, which oversaw the subsidy plan, said there were several reasons it decided to deny SpaceX’s subsidies, including that recent data that “indicate that Starlink’s speeds take been declining from the last quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022.”