SpaceX and T-Mobile's plan to make phones work everywhere, explained – The Washington Post

Driving down a lonely stretch of highway. Trekking through verdant backcountry. Waiting out a severe storm.
These are all situations where traditional cell service can quickly falter, or disappear entirely. But if T-Mobile and SpaceX get their way, cellular dead zones may finally go extinct, in the United States anyway.
Last week, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert and SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced a partnership that promises to offer at least some degree of cellular service “practically everywhere in the continental U.S., Hawaii, parts of Alaska, Puerto Rico and territorial waters.”
T-Mobile partners with SpaceX in effort to end cellphone dead zones
At first, the service will focus on letting people send text messages from anywhere they have a clear view of the sky. And in time, Sievert said T-Mobile will work on using that new network for voice calls and data connections.
“It’s going to massively improve people’s convenience and it’s going to save lives,” Musk said.
But how will a system like this actually work? What will you have to do to use it? And who else is trying to make this work? Here’s what we know so far.
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