SpaceX and Rogers Communications Inc. recently announced their plans to bring satellite-to-phone connectivity across Canada. The collaboration will leverage SpaceX’s Starlink low-earth-orbit satellite network and Rogers’ national wireless spectrum, with the goal of enhancing communication capabilities for users even in the country’s most remote regions.
The partnership aims to provide better connectivity in areas such as national parks and rural highways, which currently lack adequate coverage. Initially focusing on text services, Rogers and SpaceX intend to progressively expand their offerings to include voice and data services in the future.
Tony Staffieri, President and CEO of Rogers, highlighted the company’s commitment to expanding wireless coverage across Canada. He also emphasized Rogers’ position as Canada’s largest 5G network and the country’s biggest investor in 5G spectrum.
“As the country’s biggest investor in 5G spectrum with Canada’s largest 5G network, Rogers is proud to work with SpaceX to expand wireless coverage across all of Canada, from coast to coast, to keep Canadians connected and safe. In the future, these investments will deliver wireless connectivity, including access to 911, to even the most remote areas,” Staffieri said in a press release.
Sara Spangelo, the co-lead for Direct to Cell at SpaceX, shared her excitement about the collaboration. “As a Canadian, I’m excited that SpaceX is collaborating with Rogers to bring SpaceX’s Direct to Cell service to Canadians. I’m proud of the impact this will have across the country wherever Canadians may work, play, or travel,” she said.
Once rolled out, the upcoming satellite-to-phone coverage from Starlink and Rogers will be compatible with both 4G and 5G smartphones. The service will support SMS and MMS text services, and it should allow even users in remote regions to reach 911. This should be quite invaluable, especially amidst the efforts of first responders and emergency services to upgrade their own systems for emergency SMS texting.
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