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Feb 10, 2020,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Apple developing own satellite communication network to end reliance on operators

To break free from its dependence on mobile telephony operators, Apple is said to be working on the development of its own satellite communication network. A team of experts in aeronautics and wireless communications has been quietly put together, and the company could thus be in a position to provide a network for users of its devices and to connect them to one another.  

Pixabay / Free-Photos

 

Higher, faster, more autonomous is one way of describing the Apple philosophy, and the Cupertino-based tech giant is now said to be working on implementing a satellite communication network so that it is no longer dependent on third-party telephone operators to provide an Internet connection. Nothing has yet emerged as to how far down the line the process is, but sources with information on the project have confirmed to Bloomberg that CEO Tim Cook sees it as a priority. 

 

Working group already set up 

 

Apple has apparently pumped the necessary human and financial resources into the success of the project, with the sources, who wished to remain anonymous, saying that a team featuring a dozen highly-specialised engineers has secretly been put together to work on the network. Management-level people from the aeronautics and wireless technologies sectors have also apparently been recruited in recent months. 

These specialists in the air and space sectors, antennas and satellites are said to have been given five years to achieve their goals. The future of the initiative is highly uncertain however, and the project is very much at a preliminary stage of development. Despite Apple’s wish to break free of its dependence on mobile operators, it could be that the project proves unfeasible and has to be put to one side. 

 

No details yet come to light  

 

Should the experts succeed, however, the technology could one day be used to provide a network for all Apple devices and to inter-connect them. No-one knows as yet how Apple is looking to proceed: they could choose to develop a communications network on their own and send their own satellites into space, or alternatively use satellites that are already in orbit and focus on building structures on the ground to receive the data and send them to Apple devices. 

A third solution would be for the Californian company to have its satellites built by specialists such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Corp or Boeing. "It is very difficult to draw up a viable business plan for a satellite communication project worth billions of dollars," cautioned satellite expert Tim Farrar, citing the failure of companies such as Iridium, Globalstar and Teledesic. 

 

Allianz Partners 

Cover image : Pixabay / Pexels

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