The recent MWC Vegas event was a hotbed of innovation in the IoT and mobile connectivity sector, and one topic that captured the attention of our Chief Revenue Officer, Paul Donaldson, was the conversation surrounding satellites and cellular integration. In this blog, we’ll delve into why the use of satellites to connect your mobile device could revolutionise the mobile connectivity landscape. Read on to discover more…
Thinking Beyond Our Planet
The future of mobile telecommunications might just be beyond our planet—quite literally. There’s growing anticipation for the integration of satellites into cellular communication. Utilising satellites to link your smartphone to your chosen mobile network could spell the end of global dead spots, ensuring you’re always within reach.
Why the Buzz About Satellites and Cellular?
While discussions about phones and satellites aren’t entirely new, noteworthy developments have occurred recently. In August 2022, Space X and T-Mobile announced a partnership aimed at providing 100% coverage across the US, regardless of users’ locations. Additionally, Apple introduced an emergency SOS feature via satellite on the iPhone 14 in the same year. Moreover, 3GPP, the organization responsible for standards development in communications technologies, granted approval for 5G NTNs in 2022. This year’s MWC Vegas built upon these discussions.
How Does Satellite Communication Differ from Current Cellular Networks?
Presently, mobile networks rely on terrestrial connections. Your phone connects to a cell tower or base station through radio waves, with these towers typically being physically linked to infrastructure to transmit your phone’s data to its intended destination. Often, phones connect to multiple towers simultaneously to provide users with uninterrupted coverage while on the move. However, this system crucially depends on terrestrial connections to function.
In remote areas, where cell towers are out of reach, users experience no reception. Satellites hold the key to addressing this issue by eliminating the need for terrestrial connections.
While discussions around the integration of satellites and cellular networks are ongoing, the progress made in these conversations is promising. This is a topic that deserves close attention in the coming months as it has the potential to transform the way we experience mobile connectivity.