Smartphone to satellite linking made easier with this FCC proposal

Smartphone to satellite linking made easier with this FCC proposal
You’ve probably noticed how phone-to-satellite linking is becoming more popular. Applelaunched its own version of such a service and there is even talk that Samsung is prepping similar plans too. You know how these things typically go — if the big guys are doing it, then it's time for a quick game of “follow the leader”.

That being said, this is indeed a valuable option to have, especially for those who are prone to hiking in remote areas. But even if your trip was unplanned, as disaster can always strike without any sort of warning, it’s better to be prepared than sorry. Or to put things in perspective: a more wide-spread adoption of a feature such as this can save numerous lives.

Aiming for a wide adoption is tricky, though. There are costs involved, not to mention preparations. But the FCC — Federal Communications Commission — is looking to help get things in motion through a proposal. In essence, it would allow mobile carriers to team up with satellite operators in order to provide coverage in areas, where phones are essentially defunct.

Naturally, some rules are involved too. Mobile carriers would have to fit certain criteria. Hold on — we’re about to encounter some terminology. The process involves usage of non-geostationary orbit satellites and getting leases from leases from terrestrial spectrum owners. What does this mean? 

It means that after that is over, phones will be able to operate in the given area without issue.

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Right now, Apple’s iPhone 14 series of smartphones is capable of pulling this trick off. The process itself is very complicated and costly, which is why it is expected to come as a premium service in the future, but it is still a wonderful example of how things should be.

Apple’s process is a prime example of how to overcome one of the two major hurdles when it comes to phone-to-satellite communication, namely: data transfer, as in quantity. The other factor that needs to be taken into consideration is line of sight to the satellite in question.

As of the time being, the FCC is waiting on public input regarding its proposal. If things go along according to plan, this will enable users to reach emergency services way more reliably, if need be. But until such a time becomes a reality, make sure to stay safe!

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