Provide networking in the most isolated places in the world. This is not science fiction according to SpaceX. The space company’s satellites will be able to connect directly to the telephones of the operator T-Mobile and thus cover all regions so far without a network, even when they are beyond the relay antennas. The announcement was made Thursday by Elon Musk’s group and the German telecom giant.
This service, which will rely on the thousands of SpaceX Starlink satellites already launched into orbit, will be available on current phones. It will initially offer sending and receiving SMS from the end of 2023, to later offer calls and voice messages.
” Save lives “
“The important thing is that it means there will be no more dead zones anywhere in the world for your phone”, Elon Musk promised at the SpaceX Starbase site in Texas. According to the entrepreneur, this service will thus make it possible to ” save lives ” when people are in need in very remote areas.
Until now, Internet access via satellite was possible on the condition that you had technical and expensive equipment such as Starlink terminals. Elon Musk clarified that this new service “won’t have the kind of bandwidth that a Starlink terminal would have, but will allow texting, pictures, and if there aren’t too many people in the mobile area, you could even potentially have a bit of video.
A service first available in the United States
For his part, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert says he expects the service to be included in most current subscription offers for free, and that there will simply be a surcharge to be paid for the cheaper plans.
It is first the American customers who get access to this functionality, but T-Mobile should then attack other markets, believes the manager Mike Sievert. “It’s like putting a mobile tower in the sky. But much more complicated »he boasted.
The market for satellite Internet access is accelerating, and the American digital giants are harboring big ambitions with the colossal investment that this cutting-edge industry requires. Amazon’s creator Jeff Bezos plans to launch about 3,200 satellites over time. States are not left out. China wants to have a constellation of 13,000 satellites named Guowang. More modestly, the EU wants to implement… 250 by 2024.