Telus conducts first successful phone-to-satellite communication test; calls, texts in no-coverage zones soon possible

Telus has announced that it has successfully used satellite connectivity to conduct voice calls, send text messages between smartphones and connect to IoT devices, in a groundbreaking trial.

The successful demo, the company says, paves the way to eliminating no-coverage zones and providing ubiquitous connectivity.

Telus partnered with non-terrestrial-network (NTN) service provider Skylo and wholesale satellite services provider TerreStar to conduct the trial.

Specifically, the trial combined Skylo’s technology platform to send texts and connect to IoT devices, and TerreStar’s spectrum and service platform, which covers most of Canada’s geography, to make direct connections to its existing geostationary satellite, enabling voice calls.

“This collaboration with TerreStar and Skylo lays the foundation for a world where everyone has access to potentially life-saving connectivity, and businesses and institutions can operate more sustainably and efficiently in remote regions,” said Darren Entwistle, president and CEO, Telus. “Through this innovative technology, we look forward to ensuring even more Canadians are able to connect with what matters most.”

Mobile and IoT to satellite connectivity can ensure the following:

  1. Canadians in remote areas, hikers, campers have mobile access.
  2. Emergency services have backup connectivity in times of natural disasters or damage to cell towers
  3. Remote field worker connectivity and monitoring of critical operations like forestry, hence, improving employee safety and reducing costs
  4. Uninterrupted fleet vehicle tracking and management of supplies for businesses in the most remote areas
  5. Deliver real-time data visibility to farmers to improve decision-making and sustainability in remote agriculture.

Telus says it is looking to introduce devices equipped with 5G satellite capabilities to customers in 2024.

“We’ve been able to expand beyond smartphones – into wearables and low cost, low power, IoT devices,” said Tarun Gupta, chief product officer, Skylo. “This revolutionary new service will ubiquitously transform lives and businesses in a way no other mode of connectivity has done before.”

Telus is not alone in the race to offer satellite connectivity to Canadians. In August, Xplore promised to offer faster satellite internet to Canadians in rural locations via Jupiter 3, taking on Starlink which has dominated the satellite internet market in Canada since its arrival in 2020.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

Featured Articles

Empowering the hybrid workforce: how technology can build a better employee experience

Across the country, employees from organizations of all sizes expect flexibility...

What’s behind the best customer experience: How to make it real for your business

The best customer experience – the kind that builds businesses and...

Overcoming the obstacles to optimized operations

Network-driven optimization is a top priority for many Canadian business leaders...

Thriving amid Canada’s tech talent shortage

With today’s tight labour market, rising customer demands, fast-evolving cyber threats...

Staying protected and compliant in an evolving IT landscape

Canadian businesses have changed remarkably and quickly over the last few...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now