T-Mobile phones will connect to Starlink next year

Starlink satellites launched next year will connect directly to T-Mobile phones

Starlink T-Mobile

T-Mobile phones will connect to Starlink next year. Source: depositphotos.com

T-Mobile and SpaceX announced that Starlink satellites launched next year will connect directly to T-Mobile phones. The companies hope to enable global roaming wherever satellite coverage exists, which would be especially helpful for regions where there’s no mobile coverage. The service may potentially be added for free to existing T-Mobile plans.

“It’s a lot like putting a cellular tower in the sky, just a lot harder. Your phone doesn’t really know it’s connecting for space. It’ll think it’s connected to a cell tower, because that phone is using industry standard technology communication protocols and it has the spectrum already built in, as the vast majority of phones in circulation today do.”
Mike Sievert
T-Mobile

At first, the service will only enable text messages, and possibly messaging apps, though some technical issues need to be solved first. There would probably initially be a considerable delay of “half an hour or so” until the message is sent or received. However, the service would potentially enable multiple voice calls and real-time messaging.

At launch, the service will work with T-Mobile’s exclusive licensed spectrum. However, both Sievert and Musk indicated they would like to find arrangements with compatible providers in other countries and make a “reciprocal roaming” deal. 

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