The Apple product makes use of existing satellite bandwidth formerly utilized by Globalstar for messaging services, but without the requirement for a satellite-specific device. Apple Starts Cellular Calls From Space.
The AST project and another business, Lynk Global, would employ a specialized network of satellites with larger-than-normal antennas to provide a 4G, 5G, and, eventually, 6G cellular signal that would be compatible with any existing 4G-compatible phone. Assuming regulatory permission, the system would first operate in equatorial regions before expanding to cover more of the globe as these providers extend their satellite constellations. In the United States, T-Mobile and Starlink’s service would operate in the old PCS band. SpaceX, like AST and Lynk, would have to negotiate spectrum access nation by country.
According to Tim Farrar of Tim Farrar Associates in Menlo Park, Calif., the T-Mobile-Starlink announcement represents «in some ways an affirmation» of AST and Lynk’s concept and «in other ways a significant danger.» AST and Lynk have previously informed investors that they anticipate their national mobile network operator partners to charge per usage or per day, but T-Mobile has revealed that they want to incorporate 1,900-megahertz satellite messaging in their existing offerings.
Apple stated that its Emergency SOS via Satellite service will be free for the first two years for iPhone 14 owners in the United States and Canada, but did not specify how much it would cost after that. For the time being, the Globalstar satellites it is employing are incapable of providing the broadband bandwidth promised by AST.
Apple Starts Cellular Calls From Space
Even in the best of circumstances a clear view of the sky it will take customers 15 seconds to send a message using Apple’s service. They will also need to follow onscreen instructions to keep the gadget aimed at the satellites. The identical message might take more than a minute to deliver because to light foliage. Ashley Williams, an Apple satellite engineer who taped the service’s introduction, also highlighted a data-compression mechanism and a series of proposed rescue-related auto-replies designed to reduce the amount of data that users would need to transmit during a rescue.
The array’s size will also make it more reflective, which has astronomers concerned. Astronomers have already expressed concern over the scale of Starlink’s proposed constellation, claiming that it will interfere with their ability to see space. On September 1, Sky & Telescope magazine issued an appeal for both professional and amateur astronomers to monitor the rising constellations of satellites in order to chronicle the interference. Professional astronomical associations have pressed US government agencies and Congress on the matter, and in May, executives from SpaceX met to discuss a recent adjustment that brightened satellites by 0.5 visual magnitudes.
A message service that takes a while to connect and twinkles in and out of service as satellites pass by may be better than nothing for a hiker with a sprained ankle, but early space-based cellular will not be a smooth method to connect to video conversations from out at sea.