Apple could start a satellite war
Apple’s investment in the system and the introduction of satellite connectivity in the iPhone 14 are seen as a step in that direction.
At its September 7 remote event, Apple said the iPhone 14 could broadcast a series of emergency alerts via satellite. “Not only is Apple introducing a new feature, but it’s clear that it’s one of those companies looking to make a big impact in an industry as young as satellite communications,” the site reads. edge Opinion.
Over the years, Apple has quietly partnered with Globalstar, an American satellite communications company, to star 24 satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) that use band 53/n53 for communications and satellite phone data.
In fact, joining Globalstar means Apple will join a group of companies trying to eliminate “dead zones” on cellular waves, which T-Mobile highlighted at a signing ceremony with SpaceX in late August. The mobile service will initially support text messaging and voice, and will then expand to include wireless Internet access and other services.
The satellite function on the iPhone essentially performs the functions mentioned above. Apple plans to roll out the new feature in the US and Canada later this year.
Apple is currently just a “small player” in satellite communications. Many companies were already active in this area. For example, the company Link Global is trying to build a world emergency communications network using ordinary models of phones, and will successfully send a message from space in 2020. During the exam. Alternatively, AST SpaceMobile aims to use phone models that support 4G or 5G networks. for satellite communications and plans to launch a test satellite this weekend. Amazon plans to connect satellite internet to phones via the Kuiper project, but the timeline is unknown.
During the iPhone 14 launch event, Apple announced that the first step was to simply use satellites to send SOS messages in an emergency. “We have established a message center with highly trained emergency responders to take your messages and call emergency organizations,” said Ashley Williams, head of Apple’s Satellite Modeling and Satellite Group.
According to Williams, Apple has improved the feature by upgrading its satellite infrastructure over the years. However, the amount of investments the company will make in the satellite space is not yet known.
follow up ReutersApple has invested 450 million in satellite infrastructure. USD, most of the money goes to GlobalStar. Meanwhile, SEC filings show that Apple has agreed to pay 95% of the cost of satellites that use the SOS feature in the latest iPhones.
influence on the market
Telecoms analyst Tim Farrar of Telecom, Media & Financial Associates believes Apple’s revenue will be around $500 million in 2026, according to Globalstar’s revenue estimate. 50 million can be spent on each satellite. dollars, and only next year – about 110 million. He stressed that the price is “relatively low” but could put pressure on other satellite operators.
“T-Mobile is not expected to pay more than $100 million a year,” Farrar said.
But Farrar’s assessment can only take into account the fact that Globalstar only works with Apple. Meanwhile, filings with the SEC say the company’s activities include cable television services, wireless services, integration of systems and services, and other infrastructure uses.
According to independent analyst Harold Feld, the partnership with Apple shows that Globalstar expects satellite phones to be a popular feature in the near future. But this expert also believes that a deal to work exclusively with Apple can be a double-edged sword.
“Apple could gain veto power that could adversely affect GlobalStar’s capacity. In other words, if Apple decides that GlobalStar’s partnerships with other operators are putting pressure on its satellite network, it can end those partnerships,” Feld said.
follow up edgeApple’s launch of satellite connectivity for the iPhone will always have a major impact on the market. Reluctance to separate from the partnership.