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Smartphone satellite predictions will soon crash to Earth

Did you hear the news? Ordinary smartphones get satellite connection!

Apple recently announced the long-rumored satellite support for the new iPhone 14, allowing users Sending emergency messages outside cellular coverage areas.

The service, called Emergency SOS, is made possible through a partnership with Globalstar, the US low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite company. (Apple has hinted at other future partnerships, too.) Emergency SOS is scheduled to launch in the US and Canada in November and in other countries later.

Apple News is just one part of a larger story about everyday smartphone satellite connectivity.

It’s coming from space!

Before Apples put up – a proactive PR strike, no doubt – T-cell phone And SpaceX announced a partnership on satellite communication to cover US coverage. (Satellite wonIt will be released until next year at the earliest.)

Huawei announced Mate 50 . serieswhich will provide the ability to send text messages using China without receiving themGlobal Beidou Satellite Network.

A credible rumor has it that Samsung will add satellite communications of some sort to its upcoming Galaxy phones early next year.

Qualcomm, Ericsson and Thales Satellite Connection Test As part of their 5G technologies.

Google recently confirmed that the . file The next version of Android will support satellite communications.

appleThe SS announcement drew attention to a new stage in smartphone capability, one in which future devices communicate directly with satellites. This transformation has been a long time in the making.

Companies have been working on satellite communication with a smartphone for years. For example, AST SpaceMobile and Lynk Global have removed barriers and both plan to launch multiple satellites by the end of 2023. Approved the Lynk Global license this month.) that theyPartner with carriers around the world to provide the service, which will normally be offered to customers as an option for an additional monthly fee.

Why expectations will shatter on the ground

Of course, satellite phones have been around for decades. But so far, hmmThey were special purpose devices with expensive call and data plans from companies like Inmarsat, Thuraya and Iridium. In the past, these phones had big comic antennas. But in recent years, it has been reduced to small parts or, in rare cases, fully integrated into a phone, which would have to be larger than smartphones to accommodate satellite components.

Special-Products with a purpose, such as Garmin InReach Line (Using the Iridium Network) Communications Provides the ability to send text messages, share your location, and send an SOS message to a dedicated emergency response center. The “mini” version is very small and can fit in a pocket.

UK-based Bullitt, which makes rugged phones for professionals under the Cat and Motorola brands, has teased a new phone that’s roughly the size of an iPhone, but thicker; It is expected to launch early next year and enable smooth operation switch between Wi-Fi, cellular, and satellite Using a custom chipset and a custom app. The service will require a dedicated satellite plan from a provider that is still unnamed and separate from your usual cellular plan.

over hereWhat you need to know: It would be wrong to think that regular smartphones are about to get a satellite connection that serves as alternatives to cellular communication. who – whichNot whatis happening.

what or whatNew is a new generation of satellites, with the new smartphone electronics they connect to, allowing very limited communications.

While dedicated satellite phones are slow, the smartphone satellite connection is still slower. Dedicated satellite phones get lower – often much lower – data performance of 10 kbps (much slower than 2G phones). The new smartphone satellite antennas are much less improved, so expect data transfer speeds of less than 2 kbps – that’s kbps with “K” – even with Starlink.

Even sending a single sentence will take some time. In fact, Apple service doesn’t even send sentences because complete sentences are too big. Instead, they will use what is essentially a multiple-choice test of ready-made responses so that they can Send minimum data. However, this tiny amount of data that only iPhone 14 users use outside of emergency coverage areas has prompted Globalstar to allocate 85% of its network capacity to iPhones.

Simple Apple service will be very slow. An apple Emergency SOS Help Page “When using a satellite connection, it can take about 15 seconds to send a message when you have a clear view of the sky. With trees with light or medium leaves, it can take more than a minute,” he says.

For the foreseeable future, the new smartphone satellite revolution has triumphedt help the business greatly. The biggest beneficiaries are adventurers, people lost at sea, and extreme travelers. However, it would be useless to such people in forests, canyons, caves, or anywhere else without a perfect line for a site that reaches into the sky.

There is no doubt that Apple will save a few livess Emergency SOS feature, which is good for — and for AppleiPhone Marketing Group.

But for business communications outside of normal cellular coverage areas, dedicated satellite phones will still be much better.

The big picture of satellite communication

The rise of smartphone satellites is part of a much larger trend where there will be more places with wireless connectivity of one kind or another.

One extreme example includes Google, which recently spun from internet startup Loon, a new company called high. It aims to develop next generation software built at Alphabet called Spacetime in a secret project called “Minkowski” for fast and secure laser-based communications using hardware technology called “Tightbeam”. The goal is access from “land, sea, air, near space, and deep space” and includes satellite communication. The startup promises ultra-fast, high-bandwidth communications in environments without existing infrastructure, including in space.

It is true that revolutions around communication did not exist before appearing all around us. But it is important to temper expectations about how these revolutions will transform business communications in the near future. Because they won’t.

The best solution for businesses that need voice, text, and data communications beyond cellular networks is old-fashioned satellite phones.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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