Elon Musk’s Starlink to offer direct-to-cell service in T-Mobile partnership

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX venture is revolutionizing global cellular communication by deploying 21 Starlink satellites, ensuring uninterrupted phone connectivity anywhere on Earth. This technological leap, approved by the U.S. government, is a collaboration with T-Mobile, enabling direct connections to cell phones without additional equipment, provided they are 4G LTE-compatible.

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Termed a “cellphone tower in space” by Starlink, these satellites mark a significant step in advancing mobile communication. The phased rollout includes text messaging in 2024 and comprehensive services encompassing voice, data, and IoT (Internet of Things) in 2025. Despite offering extensive coverage, Musk emphasizes that Starlink won’t substantially compete with existing terrestrial cellular networks due to certain limitations and limited bandwidth.

Internationally, partnerships extend to countries like Switzerland, Australia, Canada, and Japan, showcasing the global impact of this initiative. Musk’s ambitious plan involves launching 42,000 Starlink satellites, with 5,000 already in orbit by the end of 2023, as reported by Forbes. In a similar vein, T-Mobile’s rival, AT&T, collaborates with AST SpaceMobile for satellite-to-mobile services, while Apple enables iPhones to connect to satellites for emergency texts in areas with minimal cell service, according to Bloomberg.

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