Rumours cool on iPhone satellite connectivity
September 1, 2021
By Chris Forrester
The news that the next (Ver 13) iPhone will have satellite connectivity swept the world this past few days. However, the news may be a little premature.
The misunderstanding has possibly come about because the new iPhone 13 will be able to access 4G and 5G but also another radio band which was originally allocated for satellite services but is now to be used for terrestrial connectivity.
However, the news helped some well-regarded business significantly. Globalstar’s share price, for example, soared 64 per cent on the news, while International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted in a note to investors that Apple is “optimistic about the trend of satellite communications” and will likely include the ability to connect to extra-terrestrial networks in its upcoming iPhone.
Kuo, quoted by business news channel CNBC, said Globalstar is most likely to partner with Apple. Globalstar has an existing satellite phone-enabled network of 24 satellites in low Earth orbit.
However, Bloomberg inserted a sense of caution into its reporting of the issue saying that the new iPhone’s satellite connectivity will be limited to emergency usage, and limited to the sending of short SMS messages when no conventional cellular signal is readily available.
But Globalstar isn’t cheap. It currently costs around $200 per month for its ‘Orbit Unlimited’ scheme which will offer unlimited voice calls over its circuits. But perhaps it’s a start.