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iPhone 13 could support LEO, allowing users to make calls without a cell signal

It is expected that in just over two weeks, Apple will unveil the new generation of iPhones. Likely to be called iPhone 13 series, the new smartphones from Apple are set to bring a host of new features in tow. Rumours are rife about what all to expect from the 2021 iPhones and a notable Apple analyst has added one more to the list. According to Ming-Chi Kuo, the iPhone 13 models could feature the LEO or low-earth-orbit satellite communication mode.

As reported by MacRumors, Kuo in his note to investors said that if enabled with the relevant software features, the iPhone 13 models will allow users to make voice calls and send text messages without requiring a 4G or 5G cellular connection. The new iPhone lineup is said to have a customised Qualcomm X60 baseband chip to support communication through LEO satellites.

Qualcomm is reportedly working with Globalstar to offer satellite communication connectivity over the n53 band on mobile devices using its X65 chip. However, the iPhone 13 family appear to get a similar experience through the X60 modem.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has captured much attention with the launch of Starlink satellites expected to deliver its nascent broadband service to reach just about anywhere in the world. But SpaceX isn’t the only company hoping to operate a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit.

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Kuo suggested that the iPhone 13 users would be able to communicate over LEO satellites with no additional contracts or payments required. Network operators, however, may need to work with Globalstar to enable LEO satellite communication.

LEO satellite communications may be available alongside millimetre wave (mmWave) and sub-6GHz 5G connectivity on the iPhone 13 models. Kuo believes that Apple may expand LEO satellite communications beyond the iPhone 13 lineup and would provide its experience on its anticipated mixed-reality headset, electric vehicle, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the future.

As of now, this technology isn’t available in India. So it is quite unlikely that the feature will work in India as soon as the iPhones launch. It is possible that in future it might work in India but there’s no clarity in it.

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Astitva Patle
Astitva Patle
Content writer with have a experience of more than 1 and a half year in this field. If you like my content and wanna give me opportunity then please contact at [email protected]



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