SpaceX and T-Mobile are partnering to plug the average mobile phone into satellite communication would not be the last launch. Apple is expected to announce that its iPhone will connect to the satellite constellation operated by Globalstar. Next year, AST SpaceMobile plans to launch satellites that give equal access to partners, including Vodafone.
The announcement that SpaceX’s test facility in Texas was notable for its lack of detail and Musk fretted that the public would not understand the importance of the project.
Mobile phones into satellite networks!
Mobile phone towers in highly populated areas have made high-quality connectivity where the satellites make sense. Satellite phones are fairly large, expensive, and reserved for extreme situations, Aid workers in remote parts of developing countries, scientists in Antarctica, or workers on oil rigs.
Connectivity is so hard!
Connecting phones and satellites is so hard because of distance and power. Phones are designed to talk to cell towers within about 10 km, whereas satellites will be 500 km away and moving more than 17000 mph. Customers in Starlink, SpaceX’s internet satellite network, connect using a base station 20 inches by 12 inches.
This technology is possible, but it needs large antennas. AST SpaceMobile’s satellites are large, so NASA is worried about the risk of orbital collision. Another challenge is the electromagnetic spectrum, a chunk of radio wave frequencies you can transmit back and forth. T-Mobile shares frequencies it is licensed to use with SpaceX to enable the connections between its phone and the spacecraft.
The satellites that will be used as the second generation Starlink satellites will be redesigned with new antennas that will use T-Mobile’s spectrum. It is quite big where SpaceX will need to launch them into space with Starship, which has not gone into orbit yet.
Apple Satellite phone plan!
Apple has been working on adding satellite links to iPhones for several years. The satellite operator Globalstar has disclosed in financial filings that a large global customer is partnering with a new communications network and paid $300 million so it can buy 17 new satellites.
Apple offers satellite connectivity immediately limited to text and slower internet connections. Globalstar has a spectrum worldwide, not just in the US, like T-Mobile; international customers might also have access.
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Is it worth it?
The mobile phone customer does not have much time outside the service area, so the millions of dollars of investment required to make satellite linkages will pay off for handset manufacturers and telecom firms. Apple’s satellite connectivity could help the firm continue demonstrating that the iPhone is the most technologically desirable handset on the market. For SpaceX, the partnership represents much-needed revenue for its expense Starlink project.
Anne Peterson is a budding writer who is interested in Hollywood movies. She covers most of the trending news in Hollywood for the website MovieThop. She always has a curious zest about the celeb’s lives. She now writes and keeps the audience updated.
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