Elon Musk and T-Mobile announce plans to provide the whole of the US with mobile coverage
(Pocket-lint) – T-Mobile, in collaboration with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, has announced plans to provide cell phone connectivity across the United States.
Using SpaceX’s Starlink constellation of satellites, T-Mobile should be able to provide near-complete coverage, even in the most remote locations.
Currently, over half a million square miles of the US are completely unreachable by cellular signals from any provider. The only solution available to people in these regions is carrying an expensive and cumbersome satellite phone.
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This announcement is the first step to making unconnectable regions a problem of the past.
“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,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile.
Elon Musk’s statement hints at the loftier goal of expanding this connectivity worldwide. He 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.”
Initially, though, T-Mobile is setting its sights on providing text coverage to the entire continental US, Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico and territorial waters.
It plans on having a beta in selected areas by the end of next year, after SpaceX has added yet more satellites to its expansive constellation.
The CEOs have issued an open invitation to the world’s mobile carriers to collaborate on truly global mobile connectivity.
Writing by Luke Baker.