SpaceX and T-Mobile say your phone will connect directly to Starlink satellites

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Dead zones may be a thing of the past for T-Mobile subscribers.

At a joint event Thursday, SpaceX and T-Mobile announced a plan to expand coverage for T-Mobile users, allowing them to connect directly to SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

Here’s how this will work: A slice of T-Mobile’s 5G spectrum will be used for connectivity, meaning that existing 5G phones should be able to connect without modifications. On the other end will be Starlink’s second generation satellites with bigger antennas, which are launching next year.

The result: Your 5G phone will have internet connectivity nearly everywhere, even without any earthbound cell towers around.

There are limits to this, though. According to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, connectivity speed will be “2 to 4 Mbits per cell zone,” which should be enough for texting and voice calls, but not high bandwidth content such as high-resolution video and gaming.

The service will first be offered as beta in select areas, “at the end of next year.” It will be free with some of T-Mobile plans, but probably not the cheapest ones.

Another cool tidbit: At the event, Musk said that Tesla vehicles will also get access to this type of coverage, which could be a potential life-saver if your car ever gets stuck in the middle of nowhere.

SpaceX and T-Mobile also issued an open invitation to other carriers to “collaborate for truly global connectivity.”

Check out the video of the entire event below.





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