Aug 26, 2022 - Technology

SpaceX, T-Mobile plan to bring wireless phone service to remote areas

Elon Musk attends The 2022 Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2022, in New York City. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

SpaceX and T-Mobile are partnering to bring wireless phone service to remote areas with spotty coverage.

Driving the news: T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert and SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced the collaboration Thursday at the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, claiming the service will roll out next year and work with existing phones.

Details: They're planning to provide text coverage "practically everywhere" in the continental U.S., Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico and territorial waters, according to a T-Mobile news release.

  • The companies will create a new network broadcast from Starlink’s satellites using T-Mobile bandwidth.
  • It'll start with messaging, MMS and messaging apps and eventually expand to include data and voice, Sievert said.

What they're saying: "Now, you can call for help," Musk said. "It will save lives. We will no longer read about these tragedies where people got lost and if only they could've called for help, they would be OK."

  • "This partnership has a vision that is the end of mobile dead zones," Sievert said. It's about "imagining a future where if you have a clear view of the sky, you are connected on your mobile phone."

Of note: The two CEOs issued an open invitation to the world’s carriers "to collaborate for truly global connectivity."

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