SpaceX is getting ready to test its Starlink satellite-to-cell phone service. The company aims to bring it to its customers as early as 2023. The service is expected to roll out to T-Mobile phones first.
Starlink’s Coverage Above and Beyond brings cell phone connectivity everywhere
In August 2022, T-Mobile CEO and President Mike Sievert and SpaceX CEO and Chief Engineer Elon Musk announced Coverage Above and Beyond: a breakthrough new plan to bring cell phone connectivity everywhere. Leveraging Starlink, SpaceX’s constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, and T-Mobile’s industry-leading wireless network, the Un-carrier plans to provide near complete coverage in most places in the U.S.—even in many of the most remote locations previously unreachable by traditional cell signals, as described by the company. Now it has become known that SpaceX is preparing to begin testing its satellite-cellular service.
Testing of the service will begin in 2023
During a panel at the Satellite Conference and Exhibition 2023, SpaceX VP of Starlink enterprise sales Jonathan Hofeller said the company plans to begin testing its satellite-to-cell service this year, according to Engadget. « We’re going to learn a lot by doing—not necessarily by overanalyzing—and getting out there, working with the telcos, » he said.
T-Mobile will be SpaceX’s first partner
Initially, SpaceX is expected to work with T-Mobile. In August, Musk said that Starlink V2 will be launched in 2023 and will transmit data directly to mobile phones, eliminating dead zones around the world. At the time, T-Mobile said the service would give the carrier nearly complete coverage of most of the U.S. It is noteworthy that coverage will be even in places where it was previously difficult or impossible to find a signal, such as national parks, mountains and other hard-to-reach and remote places. Potentially, the new service will be not only extremely convenient but also able to save many lives.