T-Mobile and SpaceX have formalized a new partnership. Through this joint venture, T-Mobile devices will be able to connect to Starlink satellites beginning next year. Ultimately, T-Mobile and SpaceX hope to enable global roaming in any place where satellite coverage is available.
“It’s a lot like putting a cellular tower in the sky, just a lot harder,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said, according to TechCrunch.
“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.”
Since 2019, Starlink has launched nearly 3,000 low-Earth-orbiting Starlink satellites. The pack of nearly 3,000 satellites will utilize T-Mobile’s mid-band spectrum to create a new network. Current T-Mobile phones are expected to be compatible with the network as it expands.
“We are constructing a special antenna. They are actually very big antenna that are extremely advanced,” SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk said.
“The important thing is you will not need to get a new phone. The phone you currently have will work.”