New satellite services may make sure you always have a cell signal
The Future. One day, all cell phones may be satellite phones, thanks to the efforts of both tech giants and ambitious startups. The technology could provide blanket coverage across the entire planet and may ensure that no one ever gets stuck in an emergency simply because they have no bars.
Five bars forever
According to Axios, we soon may live in a world where we never have to say, “sorry, you’re breaking up.”
- SpaceX teamed up with T-Mobile to deliver satellite service to all of T-Mobile’s US customers via Starlink satellites sometime next year. The service will start with text and messaging capabilities, with voice and data to follow.
- Amazon’s Project Kuiper teamed with Verizon to soon provide cell service to rural areas in the US.
- Apple is rumored to be collaborating with Globalstar on a satellite option for iPhones, which could be announced as early as next week.
Additionally, startups such as AST SpaceMobile and Lynk are working to connect the world to unlimited cell service via satellites.
Getting unlimited service directly from satellites seems like a utopian dream that would require a lot of satellites working in tandem (let’s be real, current cell service is shoddy even in some big cities).
The dream is so big that Jon Peha, former FCC chief technologist, and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, said, “No one company or even a number of these companies [will] be able to meet all the needs.” That should be good for both competition and consumer choice.
Hopefully, several companies will prove successful because in the words of AT&T CEO John Stankey: “The human race is becoming less and less tolerant of being disconnected.”