TORONTO – TECH – Rogers Communications Inc. and SpaceX have announced a partnership to provide satellite-to-phone coverage across Canada, ensuring that Canadians can stay connected even in areas beyond the reach of traditional wireless networks. The service will use SpaceX’s Starlink low earth orbit satellites and Rogers national wireless spectrum to provide SMS text coverage initially, with plans to expand to voice and data coverage in remote wilderness areas, national parks, and rural highways that are currently unconnected.
Tony Staffieri, President and CEO of Rogers, said, “As the country’s biggest investor in 5G spectrum with Canada’s largest 5G network, Rogers is proud to work with SpaceX to expand wireless coverage across all of Canada, from coast to coast, to keep Canadians connected and safe. In the future, these investments will deliver wireless connectivity, including access to 911, to even the most remote areas.”
The satellite-to-phone coverage will be compatible with all 5G and 4G smartphones, and will support SMS and MMS text messaging. The coverage will also help Canadians reach 911 as first responders and emergency services upgrade their systems for emergency SMS texting.
Sara Spangelo, co-lead for Direct to Cell at SpaceX, said, “As a Canadian, I’m excited that SpaceX is collaborating with Rogers to bring SpaceX’s Direct to Cell service to Canadians. I’m proud of the impact this will have across the country wherever Canadians may work, play or travel.”
Rogers is committed to improving public safety through its national network investments. This includes bringing wireless service and 911 access throughout the entire Toronto subway system for all TTC riders, and extending wireless coverage along Canada’s remote highways.
This announcement builds on the company’s investment to bring Canadians the largest 5G wireless network, covering over 2,000 communities. Through its merger with Shaw, Rogers now provides Canadians with a national coast-to-coast wireline network with fibre-powered internet available to almost 70% of Canadian households.