Starlink phone service for NZ

SpaceX is partnering with (previously Vodafone NZ) to provide text messaging and mobile phone service in New Zealand. The text messaging service is schedule to begin by the end of the year and mobile phone calls sometime next year in 2025. There was no prospective dates given for providing mobile data service via the SpaceX partnership, but you could always get a portable Starlink internet connection in the meantime. Those are already gaining popularity in New Zealand, especially in remote locations or with people traveling around in campervans for extended periods of time.

For anyone that has travelled around NZ, you know it's surprisingly easy to get out of mobile phone service on a roadtrip. With the mountainous terrain and numerous remote regions, this will alleviate any concerns of not being able to keep in contact with others in case of emergency or for any other reason.

The green spots on the map below show mobile phone service according to Opensignal. New Zealand has vast amounts of 'dead zones' of no mobile phone service.

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You can see the coverage this will increase on land and also need to factor in coverage of the surrounding waters. This means when I go over 50km offshore fishing, I'll be able to keep in contact with others in case of emergencies instead of relying on one-way communication of an EPIRB or having to buy and subscribe to Garmin InReach service plan.

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This opens up more opportunities for SpaceX to expand their services to mobile phone service in countries that do not have complete coverage. Earlier this year T-mobile announced a partnership with SpaceX to provide first text messaging, then voice and data services to the entire United States with no 'dead zones'. There are numerous large countries around the world that could benefit from this, along with smaller island nations spread out over vast distances that could benefit from total coverage between their numerous islands such as FSM or Kiribati.

Overall, this is welcome news for residents and travelers in New Zealand and the USA..

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