AT&T could soon offer you bulletproof cell coverage thanks to a fleet of space satellites

AT&T could soon offer you bulletproof cell coverage thanks to a fleet of space satellites

Sometimes, whether you’re in the rugged wilderness or just a place with spotty reception, you’re going to struggle with cell coverage. That might soon be less of a problem if you’re an AT&T customer though, as the company has just announced a plan to provide its “first space-based broadband network direct to everyday cell phones.”

What does that mean in practice? According to AT&T, an agreement has been reached with AST SpaceMobile to use satellites orbiting the Earth to provide cellular service to AT&T’s mobile customers. That should mean you can get service wherever you are on the planet, as you’ll no longer need to rely on a nearby mast or cell tower to provide coverage to your device.

The deal lasts until 2030, and while there’s no information regarding the price, we wouldn’t expect it to be cheap. What we do know is that the first five satellites will be launched from Cape Canaveral this summer, although there’s no word on when AT&T customers will start being able to take advantage of the new service.

Expanding coverage

(Image credit: Shutterstock / FellowNeko)

This is not the first cellular service to offer coverage from space. In 2022, T-Mobile and SpaceX announced they were working together on a similar offering, which became known as Starlink Direct to Cell in October 2023. In January 2024, the program’s first satellites were launched into space.

Apple, meanwhile, has been offering Emergency SOS via Satellite for free with certain devices since 2022. However, this feature only covers emergency calls, not regular communications.

With all these services on offer – and AT&T’s own seemingly on the horizon – you should soon have plenty of options if you want to stay in touch with people even in the remotest of locations. AT&T says its program will be available “in the not-too-distant future,” so we’ll have to hang tight for further announcements – including, hopefully, the price.

You might also like (Alex Blake)

Leave a Reply