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National Wireless Independent Dealer Association

What Does the T-Mobile / Starlink Deal Mean

T-Mobile _ NWIDA Starlink
Short answer – not too much – right now.

Longer answer: Well, what IS the deal. It’s a “roaming”(??) agreement between T-Mobile and Starlink, where Starlink will provide “coverage” where there is no T-Mobile towers… BUT…

• No Voice.
• SMS/MMS and “select” messaging apps only
• MAYBE video – as Elon said “If there aren’t too many people in the cell zone, you may potentially even have a little bit of video.

Did we mention NO voice? Look, as they describe it now, it’s basically an emergency use case. It COULD grow into actual coverage (and don’t get me wrong – T-Mobile will promote it as actual coverage starting today) but it’s not.

Also, as with all satellite coverage, you need an unobstructed view of the sky. Satellite is a line-of-site service.

Oh, and you need Starlink v2 satellites – which won’t start to launch until next year.

So, right now – it’s nothing. Next year, it could be a very good emergency use service. Is it “coverage everywhere” as they’ll promote it? Well…

 
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