SpaceX may have found another way to put all those things block telescope satellites it has a night sky that can be put to good use. Starting next year, T-Mobile phones will connect to SpaceXs starlink service to bring satellite internet to its devices in an effort to bring about “the end of mobile dead zones”. If it works, the companies believe the new partnership could help bring Internet connectivity to even the most remote areas in the United States, especially those currently understaffed by mobile operators and fixed broadband companies. However, low budget users who most need such a service may have to dig deep to pay for the new service.
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert and SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced the new plan, called boring Coverage above and outsideduring a live event at Space X’s Texas Starbase on Thursday. The satellite coverage, which T-Mobile says will work with existing devices by using a phone’s existing radio, will roll out first next year with text messaging and select messaging apps for beta users. After that, the companies said they plan to use satellite connectivity to provide voice messaging and data support as well.
In a tweet following the announcement, Musk said the service’s connectivity will hover around 2 to 4 megabits per second per cell zone. In other worlds, don’t expect blazing fast speeds.
“Most importantly, it means there are no dead zones for your cell phone anywhere in the world,” Musk said in a statement. “We are incredibly excited to do this with T-Mobile.”
T-Mobile said the two companies will create an entirely new network broadcast from Starlink’s constellation of satellites. In theory, that coverage should extend to all of continental U.S. Puerto Rico, Hawaii, parts of Alaska, and territorial waters. T-Mobile claims the service will already connect to “the vast majority of smartphones”, which are already on its network.
However, it’s still unclear exactly what T-Mobile customers will need to do to access the upcoming satellite internet coverage. Speaking at the event, Sievert said he expects his company to include the new plan in the company’s “most popular plans” at no additional cost. However, lower cost plans may need to cough up some extra dough.
“There we aim to charge monthly service charges that will be much lower than the monthly service charges of current satellite link services,” Sievert said. “But for our most popular plans at T-Mobile, our vision is to just go ahead and take it for free.”
T-Mobile did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment.
SpaceX has consistently expanded Starlink’s coverage area in recent years, thanks in part to the unyielding pace at which it hurls its rockets into space. To put that into context, the company currently has more than 2,500 Starlink satellites orbiting Earth. That may sound like a lot, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to 42,000 CEO Elon Musk saying he wants to pop in the coming decades, according to Business Insider.
Those new satellites seem to make some difference. At the end of last year, Musk said the service… on track to provide continuous global coverage by the end of the year. The speeds are also up. recent speed to test conducted by Ookla found that Starlink cracked download speeds above 100Mbps, bringing it close to the speeds offered by fixed broadband providers.
That mix of expanded coverage areas and truly achievable speeds has caught the attention of commercial partners such as Hawaiian Airlines, which launched earlier this year. announced it would partner with Starlink to provide its passengers with free Wi-Fi. However, T-Mobile’s deal overshadows Starlink’s previous partnerships and may provide a ramp for SpaceX to introduce its product to a much wider American audience.
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