AT&T CEO Sees His Satellite Phone Service Way Ahead Of Its Popular Peers

  • AT&T Inc T CEO John Stankey said his company is way ahead of T-Mobile US, Inc TMUS and Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk in efforts to provide mobile phone service to remote areas via satellites.
  • "I would say we probably have an 18-month lead on this," Stankey said in a Bloomberg interview. "SpaceX is going to have to go through the same process. And they're not going to have their satellite up for testing until the middle of next year."
  • They had announced plans to offer wireless phone and internet connectivity to remote regions through a series of low-Earth orbit satellites still being launched.
  • In August, T-Mobile and Musk, operating through his company SpaceX, announced a service they said would save lives by beaming signals to and from areas like remote mountain tops and seas where hikers or sailors may be stranded.
  • AT&T worked with AST SpaceMobile, Inc ASTS. The companies will need further approval from the Federal Communications Commission for satellites to serve as cell sites in space.
  • The initial uses for satellite communications will be for emergency services, including connectivity for FirstNet, a government-run network. A consumer application would follow later.
  • Satellite communications will inevitably be a supplement to mobile service, he said.
  • Apple Inc's AAPL iPhone 14 models have a Qualcomm Inc QCOM chip that can talk to satellites.
  • One of Apple's significant new features is connecting to satellites to send emergency messages without WiFi or cellular data.
  • Price Action: T shares traded lower by 0.14% at $15.63 in the premarket on the last check Thursday.
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