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SpaceX launches its first satellite with cell service in collaboration with T-Mobile

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Earlier today, Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a set of satellites with cell service capabilities into orbit. The launch was in collaboration with T-Mobile and was the first time SpaceX launched satellites with cell services into the low Earth orbit.

In the press release sent out by T-Mobile, the company noted that it had partnered with SpaceX to launch a set of Starlink satellites with Direct to Cell Service. This was a part of the Coverage Above and Beyond initiative which was announced by T-Mobile and SpaceX in 2022. The initiative aims bring universal cellular connectivity to the United States to eradicate mobile dead zones. With satellites now in orbit, T-Mobile said that it plans to began field testing soon.

Mike Katz, President of Marketing, Strategy and Products, T-Mobile said:

Our mission is to be the best in the world at connecting customers to their world and today is another step forward in keeping our customers connected even in the most remote locations for added peace of mind when they need it most. Today’s launch is a pivotal moment for this groundbreaking alliance with SpaceX and our global partners around the world, as we work to make dead zones a thing of the past.

T-Mobile said that the Direct to Cell Service will work on existing smartphones and will not require additional hardware. The company plans to offer text service soon with call option rolling out in the coming years. This will allow users in remote locations to connect with others without extensive radio hardware.

SpaceX, on the other hand, is planning to partner with other telecommunication providers to offer the same service. The company is currently talks with KDDI (Japan), Optus (Australia), One NZ (New Zealand), Rogers (Canada) and others. SpaceX has also extended the invite to other providers across the globe to reach out for a partnership.

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