T-Mobile, RigNet launch LTE wireless network in the Gulf of Mexico

Houston Chronicle | Jordan Blum | July 26, 2019

Houston-based RigNet has partnered with T-Mobile to expand LTE wireless service to more than 60,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico, offering greater communications networks for the offshore oil and gas sector.

The new 4G LTE network in the Gulf is the first offered by a major wireless provider and is designed to provide improved communications on everything from helicopters to floating oil platforms to drillships, the companies said. T-Mobile also emphasized the expansion in the Gulf lays the foundation for the next-generation 5G network in the Gulf.

Commercial and recreational vessels in the Gulf can also connect to the new network through T-Mobile. RigNet is a communications and software firm that has long worked in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We’re putting an end to the pain that businesses and consumers in the Gulf have felt for years with limited connectivity and, in some cases, none at all,” said T-Mobile Chief Technology Officer Neville Ray.

Norway-based Tampnet announced the first 4G LTE network for the Gulf of Mexico last year, but RigNet’s partnership with T-Mobile is the first deployment of LTE from a major retail wireless provider.

And this new partnership used 5G-ready equipment to lay the groundwork for the deployment of the next-generation network in the Gulf, the companies said.

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