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U.S wireless carrier T-Mobile US and Elon Musk's SpaceX are teaming up to boost cell phone service to remote areas via Starlink satellites.
The companies outlined their plans on Thursday to connect users’ cell phones directly to satellites in orbit.
The companies said the service would cut out the need for cell towers and would extend cell service to areas where it currently doesn't exist.
Spacex founder Elon Musk and T-Mobile CEO and President Mike Sievert talking about satellite cellphone plan. (SPACEX HANDOUT)
The new service is expected to begin with texting in a beta phase beginning by the end of next year.
Musk made the announcement at an event at his company’s south Texas rocket facility.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload of 53 Starlink satellites lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in April 2022. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius / Reuters Photos)
Musk said the Starlink satellites will have larger antennae that will allow connectivity directly to cell phones on the T-Mobile network.
"We are constructing special antenna… They are actually very big antenna 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."
T-Mobile said it hopes to add voice and data coverage will be next after the texting services beta phase.
"This partnership is the end of mobile dead zones. This is important for safety, it is important for contact with the people we love, and it is important for people in rural areas," T-Mobile chief executive Mike Sievert said of the new partnership.
T-Mobile store in Herald Square in New York. ( AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File / AP Newsroom)
T-Moblie is the second-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. behind Verizon.
SpaceX so far has launched nearly 3,000 Starlink satellites to space.