Rogers Communications has announced new agreements with SpaceX and Lynk Global to bring satellite-to-phone coverage to Canadians in areas that aren’t being served by traditional wireless networks, pending regulatory approval.
Rogers will leverage SpaceX’s Starlink low earth orbit satellites and Rogers national wireless spectrum, in addition to a partnership with Lynk Global, to bring coverage to remote areas that currently remain unconnected including national parks, rural highways and remote wilderness areas. It will start with satellite coverage for SMS text and eventually extend to voice and data.
The technology, which is already in use in the U.S., would be a first for Canada.
Once commercially available, satellite-to-phone coverage would work with all 5G and 4G smartphones, supporting SMS and MMS text and enabling Canadians to reach 9-1-1 as first responders and emergency services upgrade their systems for emergency SMS texting.
“From underground transit systems in Canada’s largest cities, to cell towers in space covering Northern communities, Rogers is leading to bring Canadians the biggest and best wireless networks across the country, to keep them connected and safe,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO, Rogers, in a release. “Emergencies do not wait and that is one of the reasons why we are investing to make sure Canadians can always reach 911 from anywhere in Canada.”
Rogers says it will be working with its satellite partners, the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), Public Safety Canada, the CRTC, and first responder emergency services to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals.
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