Apple and SpaceX appear poised to compete in mobile satellite connectivity on news that the iPhone maker is investing in satellite communications operator Globalstar.
Apple is working with Globalstar to power the iPhone14’s Emergency SOS feature, which Cupertino debuted on Wednesday and works by relaying the signal to satellites in Earth’s orbit.
The satellite Emergency SOS function is slated to arrive in November only for iPhone14 users in the US and Canada. But it appears Apple has larger ambitions for satellite connectivity down the line. According to the agreement(Open in a new window), the company is going to pay 95% of the funding needed to help Globalstar to launch new satellites. In return, Globalstar plans on allocating “85% of its current and future network capacity to support” Apple’s service
The investment in Globalstar could also clash with SpaceX, which is working on its own mobile satellite business through Starlink. On Tuesday, the Elon Musk-led company submitted a filing to the FCC, requesting access to the 1.6GHz and 2.4GHz bands to power Starlink’s mobile-satellite service, which promises to deliver internet access in cellular dead zones