Thursday, August 11, 2022
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SpaceX’s Starlink may enable satellite internet to iPhone and Android


This week, SpaceX’s Starlink has filed an application to the FCC seeking approval to operate a potential spectrum used primarily for mobile satellite service. The company intends to serve not only establishments and houses, but also directly to mobile users in remote areas soon. It plans to achieve this by upgrading its current satellite constellation and introducing new hardware that will act as hotspots below.

TL;DR

  • Starlink wants to utilize 2GHz spectrum for their mobile satellite internet.
  • The use of such frequency will allow them to serve mobile users on the ground.
  • Starlink will use nanosatellites technology of Swarm.

The filing of Starlink means it would want to enable high-speed broadband internet to mobile and hand-held devices. It asked FCC to add the 2GHz frequency to one of its operating spectrums. The said frequency has many advantages such as requiring smaller antennas that are suitable for smartphones. Moreover, 2GHz also allows higher and more stable transfer rates over a long-distance range.

Like on its current satellite internet service, Starlink will utilize a new type of compact receivers on the ground that will serve as a hotspot for mobile users. It is not mentioned what the exact details of this unit are and how it will work in tandem or separate from the current hardware. However, the SpaceX-owned company will first upgrade its orbiting satellites by adding modules to them before beaming the data down to earth.

Starlink also said they would take advantage of the nanosatellites by their recently acquired company, Swarm. The function of this technology was originally to cover IoT devices, but they now see it to improve their satellite internet.

Satellite connectivity for iPhone and Android

The upcoming mobile satellite service does not really mean it is designed solely for iPhones or Android smartphones and if it will work out-of-the-box. It may also come out as an add-on to their current Starlink service. Only this time using a new frequency and more portable receivers.

Apple on the other hand is rumored to add satellite connectivity on iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8. Details are scarce regarding this feature, but it is expected that the Cupertino giant wants to improve the Emergency SOS feature of its devices.



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