Rogers/SpaceX satellite-to-phone deal
April 27, 2023
By Colin Mann
Canadian multiplay telco Rogers Communications and SpaceX have agreed to bring satellite-to-phone coverage nation-wide to ensure Canadians stay connected in areas beyond the limits of traditional wireless networks.
Rogers and SpaceX will offer satellite-to-phone technology in Canada using SpaceX’s Starlink low earth orbit satellites and Rogers national wireless spectrum. The companies plan to start with satellite coverage for SMS text and will eventually provide voice and data across the country’s most remote wilderness, national parks and rural highways that are unconnected currently.
“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,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO, Rogers. “In the future, these investments will deliver wireless connectivity, including access to 911, to even the most remote areas.”
“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,” said Sara Spangelo, co-lead for Direct to Cell at SpaceX.
Once commercially available, satellite-to-phone coverage will work with all 5G and 4G smartphones. The coverage will support SMS and MMS text, and help all Canadians reach 911 as first responders and emergency services upgrade their systems for emergency SMS texting.
According to Rogers, the initiative builds on the company’s investment to bring Canadians the largest 5G wireless network covering more than 2,000 communities. Through its transformative merger with Shaw, Rogers now brings Canadians a national coast to coast wireline network with fibre-powered Internet available to nearly 70 per cent of Canadian households.