Canadian operator Telus and TerreStar Solutions have successfully conducted voice calls and sent text messages using satellite connectivity. In partnership with Skylo, Telus has also connected smartphones to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This achievement marks Canada’s first two-way communication between smartphones and satellites.
Skylo and TerreStar announced their collaboration last month to develop non-terrestrial network (NTN) 5G services, enabling direct-to-device satellite communication for Canadians.
This technology has the potential to fill gaps in mobile networks and revolutionize various industries. It ensures mobile access for customers in remote areas like hikers or campers. Additionally, it provides backup connectivity for emergency services, improves employee safety, reduces costs for remote field work and monitoring, enables uninterrupted fleet tracking, and delivers real-time data visibility.
The trial, which took place in October, combined Skylo’s technology platform, TerreStar’s spectrum and service platform, and Telus’s expertise in building networks. Utilizing dedicated satellite spectrum in areas with no traditional mobile coverage, the technology enabled two-way texting, voice calling, and connections to IoT devices.
Telus is actively exploring the integration of 5G satellite capabilities in the next generation of smartphones, aiming to introduce these devices to customers by 2024. The company sees this as a significant step towards a future without mobile no-coverage zones, ensuring all Canadians can feel safe and connected.