Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in a note to investors that the iPhone 13 series will include low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity, which will allow users to make calls and send texts without the need for cellular service.
According to reports, the next-generation iPhone range will have technology that will enable connectivity via low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites in places where regular 4G or 5G service is not accessible. The iPhone 13 models may contain a bespoke chip that will enable a new level of communication interaction.
As reported by Bloomberg, Apple is collaborating with the American satellite company Globalstar, which maintains a low-Earth orbit satellite network that is used for low-speed data connectivity and satellite phone services.
According to MacRumors, Kuo stated in his letter to investors that the iPhone 13 models would be able to make voice conversations and send text messages without the need for a 4G or 5G cellular connection provided they are equipped with the appropriate software features. According to reports, the next iPhone range will use a customized Qualcomm X60 baseband processor that will allow communication through low-earth orbit satellites.
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Qualcomm is collaborating with Globalstar to provide satellite communication connections on mobile devices utilizing its X65 processor in the n53 frequency band. The iPhone 13 family, on the other hand, appears to have a similar experience when using the X60 modem.
It was stated by Kuo that iPhone 13 users will be able to communicate through low-earth orbit satellites without the need for any extra contracts or fees. Network operators, on the other hand, may be required to collaborate with Globalstar to allow LEO satellite communication.
On the iPhone 13 models, LEO satellite communications may be offered alongside millimeter wave (mmWave) and sub-6GHz 5G connection.
It is possible, according to Kuo, that Apple would expand LEO satellite communications beyond the iPhone 13 series in the future, and that the company’s expertise will be available on its expected mixed-reality headset, electric car, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Apple appears to have been interested in satellite communications for some time, according to a story published by Bloomberg in 2019. The article stated that Apple had formed a covert team to work on satellites. It would contribute to the development of a distinct edge over time.
At this time, it is unknown if Apple would offer LEO satellite communication access for ordinary phone calls and messages, or if the company will confine its LEO satellite communication connectivity to its FaceTime and iMessage services. Individual telecom operators must collaborate with the satellite business to permit communications without the use of their regular cellular network, which means that the new experience may not be offered to worldwide markets.