This is a beautiful thing that may change everything within the cellular industry. Something I have been hoping SiriusXM would have gotten into a long time ago as an opportunity to expand outside of its normal services. T-Mobile and SpaceX are teaming up to provide Starlink connectivity to T-Mobile customers in the near future.
How “near” in the future? Next year! At least, that’s the plan. Both companies are working together to integrate T-Mobile’s network into Starlink’s satellites. Providing connectivity to T-Mobile customers in areas where the company doesn’t have any towers. Allowing customers to roam virtually anywhere (eventually).
At first, it will only be a focus on text messaging (SMS, MMS, and “participating” messaging apps). It will be introduced as a beta test in select areas around the US. If all works out, it will eventually grows to include voice and data.
Both companies plan to be ready to offer this beta test by the end of 2023. So it won’t be long before we may still be able to text familiar and friends, even in the oddest of locations. It’s still over a year away, but that’s nothing compared to most “big ideas”.
What makes it even more appealing is that T-Mobile may not even charge for this access as the company is considering opening it up to all T-Mobile customers for free. If that happens, the other major networks are going to be scrambling to figure out how to compete with T-Mobile. Other companies that have a number of satellites in the air may suddenly gain new investors/partners in the game looking to help grow their coverage.
Maybe SiriusXM might get a little attention if it is willing to integrate one of the other networks into its satellites as they launch. Not only that, but the added funding would result in more satellites and additional coverage for SiriusXM for a win-win. This would help justify it’s services past being a special luxury that only a few bother with. This, of course, is complete speculation as it would drastically change SiriusXM’s business plan. So it may not even be in the race if it isn’t willing to risk anything to begin with. Maybe I am also just saying this as I hope to see SiriusXM last forever.
Either way, you can bet that other companies that have been launching satellites into orbit to create a unique network all these years, will indeed be approached by competitors looking to join the race (assuming this works out as planned).
If you are a T-Mobile customer, you have something to be excited about coming your way. You may just be on the network that takes that device in your pocket to the next level. This could be the stepping stone toward having a smartphone that works anywhere on Earth (or the Moon, or Mars, etc). Roaming at a whole new level.
Note: Any opinions are strictly the opinions of the author and may not represent the opinions of Poc Network.