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A new collaboration between SpaceX and T-Mobile could provide the signal solution in remote areas

Image source: Euronews

Last week, SpaceX founder Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced they were collaborating on a new project.

The announcement

On Thursday night, Musk and Stievart appeared at a webcast event at SpaceX’s starbase in South Texas.

The two companies are working on a project called “Coverage Above and Beyond,” which aims to bring smartphone connectivity to T-Mobile customers regardless of location.

The service they offer is provided in areas without cellular coverage, especially in emergencies.

Above and Beyond coverage is set to launch in 2023, with T-Mobile using its mid-band spectrum to build a new network.

According to Sievert, the service will work with most phones and will prioritize the first launch of the text service.

“I think this is really a massive game changer,” said Musk. “In a nutshell, it’s no more dead zones.”

Press release

SpaceX and T-Mobile released a press release stating that the new plan “provide near complete coverage in most places in the US — even in many of the most remote locations previously unreachable by traditional cell signals.”

“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,” said Mike Sievert.

“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.”

Elon Musk joined in and said:

“The important thing about this is that it means there are no dead zones anywhere in the world for your cell phone. We’re incredibly excited to do this with T-Mobile.”

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Starlink coverage

Despite the seriousness of their partnership, Starlink coverage is not intended to replace the tower service.

Instead, it provides basic coverage for areas with little or no signal.

Above and Beyond coverage will provide between two and four megabits per “cell area”.

This means they can receive 1,000 to 2,000 voicemail messages at a time, or hundreds of thousands of text messages at a time.

The services mean that it will be some time before online games or video chat are available in the near future.

However, Elon Musk and Mike Sievert are confident the project could expand and expand Starlink’s direct-to-handset service internationally.


Despite the two companies’ announcement, they aren’t the only players in the game using satellites to communicate with cell phones on the existing cellular spectrum.

A company called AST SpaceMobile has promised to bring broadband to phones from space, while another company called Lynk Global has demonstrated that its satellite “cell towers” can be used to send text messages from regular phones. .

Despite the competition, Lynk and SpaceMobile look forward to their competition.

“We love the validation and the attention that this is bringing to this technology,” said Charles Miller, CEO of Lynk.

“We’ve been getting all kinds of calls of carriers today who are like ‘Help us!’”

Lynk and SpaceX share the same goal of working with carriers around the world so they can send text over the satellite networks they are currently building.

Miller stressed the importance of technology during emergencies such as natural disasters that can destroy traditional cellular networks, namely hurricanes, wildfires, floods and earthquakes.

“It’s resilience,” said Miller. “It’s instant backup working for everybody on Earth. Your phones, even though the towns are down, can communicate.”

“This will save lives.”

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Although two of the biggest players in the industry are working together, Charles Miller isn’t worried.

Miller says Lynk was ahead of the market, saying it was the first company to text from space to an unmodified phone.

“We think more big companies will get involved. You have years and years ahead of you. They are years behind us, ”Miller said.

“We think there’s going to be more big companies jumping in.They have years and years to go. They’re years behind us,” Miller said.

“We’re going to be like, ‘Wonderful! Educate the world that this technology is done.’ And when we start rolling it out at the end of this year, people are going to go, ‘I want it.’ They’re not going to want to wait years for it.”


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