Low-Earth orbit satellites to serve phones in remote areas without cell coverage.
By Jon Brodkin
The Federal Communications Commission says it wants to help satellite companies and mobile carriers partner up to close gaps in wireless networks. In a 4-0 vote, the FCC yesterday proposed "a new regulatory framework" designed to help satellite operators and wireless companies "leverage the growth in space-based services to connect smartphone users in remote, unserved, and underserved areas."
In August 2022, Starlink operator SpaceX and T-Mobile announced a plan to deliver space-to-ground service to mobile phones in areas not covered by T-Mobile's cellular network. SpaceX said this week that the companies plan to start testing the satellite-to-cell service sometime this year. Text messaging is expected to be the first supported service, with voice and Internet coverage to be added later.