Elon Musk’s SpaceX, T-Mobile will connect satellites to cellphones

U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc and Elon Musk-owned Space X have outlined plans to connect users' mobile phones directly to satellites in orbit.

Livemint
Updated26 Aug 2022
Elon Musk's SpaceX and T-Mobile plan to connect mobile services to satellites. 
Elon Musk’s SpaceX and T-Mobile plan to connect mobile services to satellites. ;

U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc and Elon Musk-owned Space X have outlined plans to connect users' mobile phones directly to satellites in orbit. The companies on Thursday announced that T-Mobile will now use the Starlink satellites of Space X to provide network access to mobile users in parts of the United States, according to news agency Reuters.

Musk made this announcement at a flashy event at his company's south Texas rocket facility yesterday. This plan will cut out the need for cell towers and offer services for sending text messages and images where cell coverage does not currently exist, he said.

The agency reported that Starlink satellites will now use T-Mobile's mid-band spectrum to create a new network.

"Most mobile phones used by the company's customers will be compatible with the new service. It will begin with texting services in a beta phase beginning by the end of the next year," he added.

Since 2019, SpaceX has launched around 3,000 low-Earth-orbiting Starlink satellites, which is outpacing its rivals OneWeb and Amazon.com Inc's Project Kuiper.

SpaceX's next-generation Starlink satellites will have larger antennae that will now direct connectivity to mobile phones on the T-mobile network system, Musk said, adding that these antennae are extremely big and advanced.

He informed that the customers do not need to get a new phone as it will work on the current mobile phones.

Meanwhile, US telecom companies are building up the mid-band portion of their 5G networks to catch up with T-Mobile, which bagged a chunky 2.5 GHz of mid-band spectrum. The mid-band has proven to be perfect for 5G services as it provides a good balance of capacity and coverage.

In addition to this, the agency reported that satellite communications firm AST SpaceMobile is also building a global cellular broadband network in space that will operate with mobile devices without the need for additional hardware.


(With Reuters inputs)




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