New Zealand operator 2degrees inked a contract to bring Lynk Global’s satellite-to-phone service to customers in rural areas, with plans to launch commercial service later this year.

The companies plan to test an SMS-based system later this month before completing network integration work and then offer the service to customers.

2degrees stated the service will initially allow users to send and receive messages from their phones when a Lynk Global satellite is overhead.

As more satellites are launched, access will be available for longer periods, enabling voice and data services.

“Satellite technology is moving at an astonishing pace,” 2degrees CEO Mark Callander said.

“Through Lynk, 2degrees is exploring how best to enable connectivity for our customers when they’re beyond traditional coverage.”

In January, Lynk Global deployed additional satellites as part of a plan to launch a phone connectivity service. It signed commercial agreements with more than operators covering 41 countries.

Rival mobile operator One New Zealand forged a deal with Starlink in April to provide satellite connectivity in late 2024.