Elon Musk hosted a public event at his company’s south Texas rocket facility yesterday(Thursday 25/08/22) in which the relationship between T-Mobile and Space-X was announced and it was quite an extravagant event, to be honest. Mike Sievert, president and CEO of T-Mobile and Elon Musk CEO and founder of Space-X held a public Q&A segment during the event wherein some details of the project were disclosed.
This project will eliminate the need for towers in the areas where cell coverage is not available by linking the networks with Musk’s satellite “Starlink”. This new plan can be used for sending texts and images where cell coverage does not currently exist, key for emergency situations in remote areas. This will lower the cost and effort put into the expansion of the networks and would ultimately benefit the companies and users as well.
T-Mobile chose the best option in terms of cost-effectiveness and efficiency by deciding to collaborate with Space-X rather than launching their own satellites or collaborating with rival companies, like Amazon or OneWeb, because Space-X has the most number of satellites revolving around Earth. SpaceX has launched 3000 satellites with a speed that leaves its rivals way behind.
The companies are passionate to launch everything by the end of next year, and almost all of the devices currently benign used by the company will be compatible with the new service, which will start with texting services in a beta phase beginning. Starlink’s satellites will use T-Mobile’s mid-band spectrum to create a new network that will be responsible to link those remote areas to the devices with cell coverage easily.
The next lot of space satellites are going to have antennas to connect the networks of T-Mobiles whose first batch is expected to launch soon. Those antennas can directly connect to devices powered by T-Mobile networks. Elon Musk said while answering one of the questions that;
“We are constructing a special antenna. They are actually very big antennas that are extremely advanced,” he said. “The important thing is you will not need to get a new phone. The phone you currently have will work.”
The experiment will be done first with only text and audio transmission only then eventually the video and other mediums will be added to the network. The special thing about this is the users don’t even have to buy new phones in order to benefit from the new technology and they will be able to use it as soon as it is released in their areas.
“This won’t have the kind of bandwidth a Starlink terminal will have, but this will enable texting, it will enable images and if there aren’t too many people in the cell zone, you can even potentially have a little bit of video.” He added, “We will no longer read about these tragedies that happened where people got lost and if only they could have called for help they’d be ok.”
Like everything Musk does, this is a very complex project and many people are saying that it is unnecessary or impractical but time has always proved Musk right. We have to wait and see what this new idea has to offer.