Salt is a European telecommunications provider headquartered in Switzerland that provides mobile services. Salt announced it partnered with SpaceX to provide Starlink connection throughout Switzerland. It is the second company to sign this kind of deal with SpaceX’s Starlink division. American mobile service provider T-Mobile was the first to partner with SpaceX to beam Starlink messaging and voice service directly to smartphones of T-Mobile customers. The T-Mobile and SpaceX service is expected to roll out sometime in 2023. Under this partnership, the second-generation Starlink V2 (Gen2) satellites will be equipped with large antennas designed for direct cellular services, as previously reported by TESMANIAN. Read more: SpaceX & T-Mobile Partner To Provide Starlink Satellite-to-Cellular Service In 2023 -'It means no dead zones anywhere in the world for your cell phones'
Salt became the first European country to seal the deal for satellite-to-cellular services on March 1st. Salt representatives shared that customers will be able to use the service without extra equipment or any change to their current smartphone. "[...] Mobile customers will be able to seamlessly use telecommunications services in Switzerland without having to change or add anything to their hardware, software or apps. This allows for full coverage at all times and in all places, as well as back-up network in cases of emergencies," said Salt representatives. "Starting in 2024, customers will be able to stay connected and share their experiences from almost anywhere through text messaging. The service will expand to include voice and data coverage in 2025. The service will be free for customers on Salt's premium tariffs, be it on residential or business offers."
"We're thrilled to be working alongside Salt, and this is the first announcement of its type in Europe! We will leverage our shared vision for technology innovation to improve connectivity services for customers in Switzerland and globally. From Swiss mountains to valleys, customers can now enjoy continuous coverage wherever they may travel, " said Sara Spangelo, Sr. Director of Satellite Engineering and co-lead of direct to cell program at SpaceX.
"We are beyond excited to announce this agreement with SpaceX. We always strive to bring the best technology and innovation to our customers, and working with SpaceX is a major step forward in that mission," said Chairman of Salt Marc Furrer. "With full coverage and seamless usage, this service will be a game changer for anyone who needs reliable telecommunications services: the sky is the limit!"
The company says that SpaceX's Starlink satellite technology paired with Salt's mobile network will together "provide mobile access beyond the limits of traditional cellular networks" that will enable them to extend internet and mobile communications coverage to remote areas, including: Swiss mountains, valleys, and rural areas such as the Great Aletsch Glacier area in Valais, and the Canton of the Grisons. This is possible because SpaceX’s Starlink constellation of thousands of satellites orbit around Earth in Low Earth Orbit and can be maneuvered to serve specific regions where it is needed the most. As of today, SpaceX operates around 3,750 Starlink satellites that already beam internet to over one million customers globally.
In the press release, Salt and SpaceX also stated that they would like to "invite carriers worldwide to join hands with them in this initiative, to participate in such reciprocal access agreements to enable customers to roam globally on the direct to cell network on participating carrier networks and resulting in a further expansion of network coverage for all," they wrote.
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Featured Image Source: SpaceX