Successful trial, including IoT-to-satellite test, paves the way to eliminating no-coverage zones and providing ubiquitous connectivity

MONTREAL – TELUS and Canadian-based TerreStar Solutions (operating under the Strigo brand) have successfully used satellite connectivity to conduct voice calls, and in partnership with Skylo, send text messages between smartphones, and connect to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. This is a bold step toward a future without mobile no-coverage zones, one where all Canadians can feel safe and connected.

“This groundbreaking trial demonstrates the power of satellite technology and advances TELUS’ mission to bring vital connectivity to every area of Canada,” said Darren Entwistle, President and CEO, TELUS. “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. Through this innovative technology, we look forward to ensuring even more Canadians are able to connect with what matters most.”

In the future, this groundbreaking technology could fill existing gaps in mobile networks and transform the world into one where universal mobile-to-satellite and IoT-to-satellite connectivity can:

  • Ensure customers in remote areas, such as hikers or campers, have mobile access no matter where they are;

  • Provide backup connectivity so that emergency services are never out of reach, even when natural disasters impact networks and damage cell towers; 

  • Improve employee safety and reduce costs for industries that require remote field work and monitoring of critical operations like forestry, energy and scientific research;

  • Enable uninterrupted fleet vehicle tracking and management of supplies for businesses in the most remote areas; and

  • Deliver real-time data visibility, including temperature, water and site-specific information to farmers to improve decision-making and sustainability in remote agriculture.

As chipset manufacturers look to equip the next generation of smartphones with 5G satellite capabilities, TELUS is exploring these solutions with hopes of introducing these devices to customers in 2024.

“This successful demonstration marks a pivotal moment in the evolution of global connectivity,” said Jacques Leduc, President of TerreStar. “With the convergence of TerreStar, TELUS and Skylo’s cutting-edge technologies, we’re ushering in an era of unparalleled connectivity and transformative value for Canadian customers. Together, we’re charting a course towards a future where no corner of Canada is left unconnected, promising safety and connectivity for all. This achievement reflects our unwavering commitment to a digitally inclusive Canada.”

“We are thrilled to partner with TELUS and TerreStar to bring direct satellite connectivity to customers in Canada,” said Tarun Gupta, CPO and Co-Founder of Skylo. “We’ve been able to expand beyond smartphones – into wearables and low cost, low power, IoT devices. This revolutionary new service will ubiquitously transform lives and businesses in a way no other mode of connectivity has done before.” 

The trial combined industry-leading non-terrestrial-network (NTN) service provider Skylo’s technology platform; TerreStar’s spectrum and service platform which covers most of Canada’s geography; and TELUS’ expertise in building world-leading networks. All of this supported the October trial that was successful in making direct connections using TerreStar’s existing geostationary satellite.