The way current carriers are setup means that in order to create coverage, cell towers will need to be built. The more cell towers, the greater the coverage, similar to the concept of mesh routers where the more routers you have covering an area, the less chance of there being dead zones.
Unfortunately, there are still parts of the US which are more rural and the population spread out, which means that financially, it’s not feasible to cover every area which is why sometimes you might encounter dead zones. But that might be a thing of the past if you’re a T-Mobile customer, thanks to the carrier’s recently-announced partnership with SpaceX.
With this partnership, T-Mobile will be taking advantage of SpaceX’s Starlink satellites which means that in theory, dead zones could be a thing of the past.
Of course, given how far away Starlink’s satellites are compared to traditional cell towers, we shouldn’t expect the same connection speeds, but it should be enough to allow users to send text messages, MMS, and even use some messaging apps. This could be useful for people who are hiking or trekking in the wild where cell coverage is minimal or nonexistent, so being able to stay connected means being able to call or text for help if necessary.
According to T-Mobile, existing devices will be able to take advantage of this without needing special equipment, which is good news. That being said, don’t expect to take advantage of this new service anytime soon. The service is only expected to launch in beta next year, so it might be a while before it is fully available to all users.
Also, according to T-Mobile’s CEO Mike Sievert, the carrier envisions this service to be included for free as part of T-Mobile’s “most popular plans”, but he also notes that since this isn’t an official announcement yet, maybe that could change in the future.
Source: The Verge