Apple iPhone 13’s satellite connectivity is only for emergencies – not to make calls and send text

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Apple iPhone 13 is all up in the speculations with having satellite connectivity to make calls and send text messages without a cellular connection.

The TF Int. Security Analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo stated in an investor’s note that the iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite connectivity, reported MacRumors. He explained that the relevant software may use the hardware to allow iPhone 13 users to make calls and send messages in areas without cellular network coverage.

The report mentions, according to Kuo, the iPhone 13 will be equipped with a custom Qualcomm X60 modem that supports satellite communications. Qualcomm has been working with Globalstar to support n53 band in its future X65 baseband chip. Other manufacturers will be using the X65 chip to work with LEO connectivity, added the report quoting Kuo.

While explaining the scenario, Kuo mentioned that the LEO connectivity will work if the user’s network carrier partners with Globalstar. That means, still the satellite connectivity may be dependent on that cellular network to work on iPhone 13.

However, later, Sascha Segan of PCMag headed to Twitter and explained how Kuo’s information may have been wrong. He said that the idea may have been taken incorrectly due to the difficulties in understanding how Globalstar and its networks work. He supposes that the new band in the said modem could be ground-based LTE and not the satellites.

Sascha mentioned that Qualcomm’s X65 modem supports b53/n53 bands which is a 2.4GHz zone owned by Globalstar. He linked and noted that the company has been trying to get it used by private networks. While mentioning that X60 itself does not support the listed bands, he assumes the X60 in iPhone 13 may have been customised work with b53/n53 (or X60 + b53/n53). Then he added in capital letters, “THIS DOES NOT IMPLY TALKING TO SATELLITES” but it’s a ground-based band Globalstar wants to enhance LTE.

In fact, later Mark Gurman of Bloomberg told that Apple is apparently working to enable limited satellite communications only for emergencies. Citing a source with closer knowledge, it added that users literally won’t be able to make calls or send text messages. Instead, the feature could only allow the users to report major crashes or incidents in areas with no cellular coverage.

With this limited feature, the Bloomberg report didn’t mention “iPhone 13” but the “future iPhones”. It added that the “future iPhones” may support not one but two emergency features to work with satellite networks.

Whatever it is or how the unknown/rumoured satellite feature will work, if it did, in the upcoming iPhone 13, we’ll know that soon. Stay stick t our social network handles and subscribe to our website for more detailed news and events.

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