Rumor: iPhone 13 has support for satellite calling

Apple would give the iPhone 13 support for calling via satellites. That would be done through GlobalStar, a company that offers calling via satellites in low Earth orbit. The function would enable calling in places where there is no coverage of mobile networks.

Apple uses a modified version of the Qualcomm X60 modem to enable satellite communications, 9to5Mac reports, based on information from TF-Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The standard version of the modem does not support satellite communications, but Qualcomm was already working on the technology for use in the X65 modem.

GlobalStar works with satellites in low Earth orbit to provide connectivity where it is not available with mobile networks. There are also providers that work with such providers to provide coverage in remote places, so that people with suitable equipment can still make calls in those places. GlobalStar does not have worldwide coverage. The satellites cover parts of North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, but lack coverage in Africa and large parts of other continents.

Satellite communication via band n53 is part of the 5G standard. That is frequency space in the 2.4 GHz band, so no license is required. The same frequency band also includes WiFi and Bluetooth.

GlobalStar n53 Coverage