SpaceX and T-Mobile say they’re working together on “next-gen” mobile networks

Spacex is working with the carrier to eliminate cellular dead zones. The satellites will be able to communicate directly with phones, letting you text, make calls, and potentially stream video even when there are no cell towers nearby.

Spacex and T-Mobile are n’t the only companies looking to use satellites to directly communicate with cell phones using existing cell spectrum. For years a company called ast spacemobile has promised that it will beam broadband to phones from space. lynk global has already demonstrated that its satellite’towers’ can be used to send text messages from regular phones.

Lynk’s initial goal is similar to SpaceX’s. It’s partnering with a number of carriers around the world to let their customers send texts using a satellite network.

The executive vice president and chief strategy officer at ast tweeted that the market for satellite-to-phone communication likely would n’t be winner-take-all.’in terms of the overall market, it will be multiple winners in our view,’ he said.

Bluewalker 3, which has a 693 sq ft array, is scheduled for launch within weeks. bluewalker 3 will be launched within weeks.

Sievert said that he hopes T-Mobile will eventually be able to deliver data via SpaceX’s satellites. Ast’s express goal is to operate 4G and 5G networks.

Spacex and T-Mobile’s plans are largely limited to the US and its territories. Ast has gotten investment and a five-year exclusivity deal with Vodafone, one of the world’s largest cell providers, and has also received investment from Rakuten, a mobile carrier in Japan.

T-Mobile and SpaceX will launch a test satellite in just a few weeks. Spacex is planning to launch its commercial service with 14 operators by the end of the year.

Our bluewalker 3 test satellite has arrived in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Teams are now working to prepare the spacecraft for a planned launch in early to mid-September.

T-Mobile’s timing could be because another huge rival is about to enter the market.’the issue is going to be what happens with Apple next week,’ said Tim Farrar, an analyst at Telecom, media and finance associates.

Apple already has 24 satellites operating in space that you can communicate with, and they have the licenses with the FCC and many other international jurisdictions.’if we’re partnered with Globalstar, it will be something that’s ready to go as soon as the phone’s available,’ he says.

Satellites used satellite spectrum, and cell towers used terrestrial spectrum. satellite-to-cell tech mixes the two in a way that the rules do n’t really allow for.

‘there’s going to be a lot of fighting over use of terrestrial spectrum on satellite,’ says Farrar.’none of the major wireless carriers want their rivals to gain the advantage,’ he adds.

Wisniewski said that ast’s plans for dealing with spectrum issue is to work with carriers to get approval from regulators. He also said that the nature of providing service where there currently is n’t any could make things a bit easier.

Ast has regulatory approval for commercial operations in seven countries. The FCC has only authorized it to test its satellite to provide service to the US on an experimental basis.

The companies do n’t expect to start testing their service until the end of next year. Spacex and T-Mobile are n’t expected to even start testing service until next year.

If one company can break through with a phone that connects to satellite networks, it could help all the other companies out. That could add to pressure on the FCC to authorize the satellite-to-phone tech for carriers and their satellite communications partners.

Verizon partnered with Amazon’s Kuiper project, which aims to create a satellite constellation similar to SpaceX’s. Instead of direct satellite-to-phone communication, Verizon’s plan is to feed remote cell towers with satellite service instead of having to run fiber or cable to them.

Verizon and Amazon responded to the verge’s request for comment on whether they’d be modifying their plans based on T-Mobile and SpaceX’s announcement.

Ast and lynk are not interested in building remote cell towers if their phone’s already connected by the satellite. Both companies are not particularly interested in competing on that front.

T-Mobile and SpaceX have announced that soon your phone will be able to connect to satellites. This allows you to have at least some level of communication even when you’re in areas that have traditionally been completely isolated.

Ast’s tests could show that you can beam relatively fast Internet to phones from space and raise the bar for what consumers want higher than where T-Mobile and SpaceX have set it.

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