The days of satellite phones being required for remote area voice communications would seem to be coming to an end.
For most of the last decade we have had access to devices like the Spot GEN4 and InReach which provide 100% coverage for text based messaging, location tracking and SOS emergency services.
However voice communications outside of cellular mobile phone range have remained the domain of satellite phones using one of several satellite networks.
For Australia that's about 60% of the total land mass not being covered by cellular mobile phone range from any provider.
In a press release from Optus’ Managing Director, Marketing and Revenue, Matt Williams, Optus has announced that they are collaborating with SpaceX to deliver connectivity to 100% of Australia through 'compatible mobile handsets without the need for customers to buy additional equipment'.
The 'new satellite-to-phone coverage will be extensively tested before launch' and if all goes to plan being rolling out with SMS from late 2024 with voice and data from late 2025.
We look forward to seeing how it rolls out.