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The future of telephony is looking up

June 12, 2022 — Nalioth

There've been a few clues escape into the public eye over the past few months. These can be arranged to point the way forward for telephony.

In Q4 2021, some scientists published papers regarding their experiments connecting bog-standard cellular telephones (just like the ones used by millions of people) to LEO (low earth orbit) satellites.
The point of these experiments wasn't to actually do anything with the satellite, but just to prove that an off-the-shelf personal communications device could connect at all.

Fast forward to earlier this year: An industry production analyst noticed that Apple was ordering satellite-capable processors to use in their iWatch line. The analyst proposed that Apple was going to advertise "never get lost" or some such and market their satellite-aware smartwatches to extreme hikers or others who venture far off the beaten track.
These iWatches would only be able to send & receive text message via a data trickle, as there are no satellite constellations available at this time with the bandwidth for real-time voice, text & data services using the satellite-capable processors in the wrist devices.

. . . and just last month, a license was issued to a company who clearly intends to bring satellite telephony to the masses.

So anyway, I've been sitting on this data for a while now, but f✱✱ked around for too long, and Bob Cringely has written a really detailed article on what I've been blathering about.
So, without further ado, I give you Apple's Space Ambitions are Real.

Tags: general-interest, technology

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