T-Cell says it’s eliminating cell useless zones due to a brand new partnership with SpaceX’s Starlink satellite tv for pc web, at an occasion hosted by T-Cell CEO Mike Sievert and Elon Musk.

In line with Musk, second-generation Starlink satellites launching subsequent yr will be capable to broadcast service utilizing a part of T-Cell’s mid-band 5G spectrum. Musk mentioned the brand new satellites can have “massive, massive antennas” to allow the brand new connections, and that the plan is to launch the tools utilizing its upcoming Starship rocket. The 2 execs mentioned they’re searching for partnerships with cell carriers all over the world who could be concerned about reciprocal spectrum sharing agreements in order that their clients can hyperlink up with SpaceX, and when T-Cell clients come to different nations, they may additionally use these connections.

Picture: SpaceX

The corporate says it’ll allow you to textual content, ship MMS messages, and even use “choose messaging apps” at any time when you’ve a transparent view of the sky, even when there’s no conventional service out there. “If there aren’t too many individuals within the cell zone, chances are you’ll doubtlessly actually have a little little bit of video,” mentioned Musk. As Sievert described it, operators of messaging apps might want to work with T-Cell and Starlink for his or her companies to acknowledge the satellite tv for pc connection and work with it as soon as it launches.

Musk offered a bit extra element by saying that, not like common web service, it may work with out entry to Starlink’s full satellite tv for pc constellation. By limiting it to sure messages and companies, in addition to solely in locations that don’t presently have mobile connectivity, it may use an intermittent connection as satellites cross inside vary for “fundamental” protection.

The service will launch in beta subsequent yr, and Sievert says he hopes it would sometime embrace knowledge. He says that when it launches, T-Cell’s “imaginative and prescient” is for it to be included without spending a dime within the provider’s “hottest plans,” although he did say that at present’s occasion isn’t an official announcement.

T-Cell says that subscribers’ present telephones will be capable to make the most of the community — no particular tools required. Whereas rumors have been circulating that future iPhones will embrace satellite tv for pc communications, doubtlessly for emergency response functions, that’s not the sort of tech T-Cell is banking on right here. As Elon Musk mentioned within the announcement: “the cellphone you presently have will work.”

Sievert additionally mentioned that T-Cell was “open” to the potential for utilizing SpaceX for its community backhaul sooner or later, particularly in rural areas. Whereas that’s clearly a couple of steps forward from what the 2 firms are pitching now, it may assist make it inexpensive for the provider to increase its community.

Earlier this yr, SpaceX misplaced a bid for rural web subsidies due to the price of its tools. But when it might probably piggy-back off T-Cell’s current tools, which individuals in rural areas might already personal, that might assist its case with the Federal Communications Fee. The presentation on Thursday definitely hit on the concept of rural protection, with movies of individuals in distant parks, the mountains, or herding animals.

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