SpaceX and T-Mobile have announced plans to directly link mobile phones with SpaceX's low-Earth-orbiting Starlink internet satellites in orbit.
The move will provide T-Mobile users with network access within parts of the US. The shift will also reduce dependence on cell towers while boosting cell coverage at previously untapped locations.
Specifically, Starlink's satellites will leverage T-Mobile's mid-band spectrum to create a new network. Existing T-Mobile customers can also avail of the new service, which will include text messaging in a beta phase by the end of 2023. Voice and data coverage are next on the list, as confirmed by T-Mobile.
“SpaceX's next-generation Starlink satellites, the first of which are planned to launch on SpaceX's next-generation Starship rocket whenever it is fully developed, will have larger antennae that will allow connectivity directly to mobile phones on the T-mobile network,” said Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO.
"We are constructing special antenna... They are actually very big antenna that are extremely advanced. The important thing is you will not need to get a new phone. The phone you currently have will work,” added Musk.
AST SpaceMobile, a Texas-based satellite communications firm, is also in the works to deploy a global cellular broadband network in space for use with mobile devices without requiring additional hardware.
Earlier this month, SpaceX announced it would be offering bounties between $100 and $25,000 to hackers who successfully unmask exploits to the company through their website.
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