Elon Musks’s SpaceX is joining forces with T-Mobile and the two are joining forces to eliminate cellphone dead zones, the companies announced on Thursday.
Using Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX, the telecommunications giants say they will be able to provide service in the half-million square miles currently unreached by cell signals in the United States.
“From the middle of Death Valley to the Great Smoky Mountains or even that persistent neighborhood dead zone, T-Mobile and SpaceX have a vision to give customers a crucial additional layer of connectivity in areas previously unreachable by cell signals from any provider,” a press releaseexplained. “And the service aims to work with the phone already in your pocket. The vast majority of smartphones already on T-Mobile’s network will be compatible with the new service using the device’s existing radio. No extra equipment to buy. It just works.”
T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced the partnership at an event on Starbase, the Texas facility from which SpaceX tests and launches its Starship rocket.
“The important thing about this is that it means there are no dead zones anywhere in the world for your cell phone,” Musk said. The billionaire added on social media that the second-generation satellites supporting the network will launch next year and confirmed that Tesla vehicles will be able to use the service.
“We’ve always thought differently about what it means to keep customers connected, and that’s why we’re working with the best to deliver coverage above and beyond anything customers have ever seen before,” Sievert remarked. “More than just a groundbreaking alliance, this represents two industry-shaking innovators challenging the old ways of doing things to create something entirely new that will further connect customers and scare competitors.”
SpaceX signed a deal with Hawaiian Airlines earlier this year to provide free wireless internet for passengers using Starlink.
According to the CMO of Hawaiian Airlines Avi Mannis, however, the company has to process “certification issues” before implementing the service.
Musk if you remember made an offer earlier this year to buy Twitter for $44 billion. The deal stalled out as the legal team for Musk argued that Twitter’s disclosed quantity of false accounts and bots is highly inaccurate.
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