Starlink and T-Mobile have entered into a partnership agreement with which they will offer satellite messaging. That is sending messages via satellite.
More and more telephones, including Huawei and Apple, are being equipped with possibilities to make contact with satellites. Unlike cell towers, satellites can be reached everywhere. This means that you can also send messages in remote locations, for example in the middle of the Sahara or at sea.
Starlink, a fast growing satellite internet provider
Starlink is a satellite internet provider founded by Elon Musk. It was once part of SpaceX, but now this company is taking on an increasingly independent character. This other Musk space company is launching the satellites for this network. Musk wants to use the huge Starship missiles for this.
Starlink is attracting more and more attention as a satellite provider. In Ukraine, for example, the company helped provide the Ukrainians with internet when the Russians destroyed cell towers. Starlink now also offers broadband internet for remote areas, without the need for a cable. So actually the choice for T-Mobile to use Starlink was logical.
T-Mobile is also an obvious collaboration partner for Musk. This telecom company operates worldwide and owns telecom frequencies necessary for this plan to work, at least within the United States. Outside the US it will be more difficult, because different rules will apply.
What can you do with satellite messaging?
The bandwidth of satellite internet is limited because a satellite covers a much larger area than the transmission tower. Are you in an area with few people? Then in theory you would even have video quality connection to the satellite.
In practice, a maximum of a few kilobytes is feasible, which makes, for example, Whatsapp-like services or telephone conversations more interesting. In principle, these services should be reachable anywhere within the United States by 2023, according to the press release from T-Mobile. And of course there is also a beautiful roaring video clip made about this collaboration.