May 13, 2022 12:04:26 IST
We cannot deny the fact that space tourism is on the horizon. When space tourism becomes mainstream, there will be a number of services that tourists will need, and connectivity or telecommunications will be a major element. As fascinating and futuristic as it sounds, it looks like Apple thought about it years ago and is ready to take the first step.
Globalstar, an American satellite operator recently announced that it has reached an agreement with one of the largest technology companies in the world to build a new communication network. They also said that just months before the deal, the company also bought 13 new satellites from them.
Tech and space enthusiasts in America say the company behind these purchases is Apple, and they plan to use Globalstar to provide satellite connectivity to an iPhone they will launch in the future. In 2021, Bloomberg reported that Apple was considering adding satellite communications to its mobile devices, turning them into satellite phones. Basically, Apple wants to generalize satellite phones.
Globalstar has exclusive rights to the electromagnetic frequencies reserved for terrestrial use. This means that instead of working frequencies that are used in normal cellular coverage in populated areas, Globalstar’s frequencies work in areas where there is no cellular coverage because it connects directly to a satellite , instead of the nearest tower.
Although the frequency spectrum they operate on hasn’t been able to generate a ton of money for them, it’s theoretically very valuable, as it promises the ability to seamlessly link affordable mobile phones to cell towers. as well as satellites.
While most populated areas have reliable cellular coverage, satellite connectivity could come in handy in rural areas or when traveling to remote locations. Satellite operators are salivating at the prospect of tapping into the much larger terrestrial communications market, and other companies, such as AST SpaceMobile and Lynx, are working on their own plans to connect ordinary mobile phones to satellite networks.
Most of Globalstar’s current customers are search and rescue operators, US responders, and others who often have to travel to areas where there is no cellular coverage.
Apple’s tie-up with Globalstar can work in two ways. The first way this can be implemented is that Apple users can connect directly to a communications satellite when in areas with no cellular coverage. Second, when space tourism becomes accessible to large numbers of people, Apple can leverage its position as the only smartphone maker capable of providing connectivity in space and on Earth.
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