Apple announced the satellite connectivity feature in its iPhone 14 series. Many have said it will be tough, if not impossible, to implement in India. Well, iPhone 14 satellite connectivity in India might not be as difficult as previously imagined.
Even before the iPhone 14 was officially announced by Apple, one of its leaked features started multiple heated discussions in India. The feature was satellite connectivity and the fear that was expressed was that it might never see the light of day in India. The fear was not unfounded. According to the guidelines by the Department of Telecommunications, there were multiple layers of permissions and approvals required for the service to be allowed for just one person. With a mass product like the iPhone 14, it would have been nearly impossible to fulfill all the compliance metrics. But this was the opinion before the iPhone 14 was launched. The answer to that query will shock and awe you.
After a better understanding of the feature, it seems it might not be that difficult for Apple to expand this feature to India, after all. The reason behind the change of opinion was because of how Apple introduced this feature. During the Far Out event, Apple called it an ‘emergency feature’ which lets users send a text message to either emergency services or contacts if there is no mobile network around. The wording is interesting because it clarifies two things. First, Apple looks at it as an emergency feature and second, it will be limited to text messages only. And this changes things.
iPhone 14 satellite connectivity might come to India
“What Apple has introduced is a kind of alert or messaging service, and not mobile voice service. The kind of antenna these phones (commercial) have (small) does not support voice services over satellite which is 600 kilometers away,” Shivaji Chatterjee, SVP and Business Head of the Enterprise Business Unit at Hughes Communications India, told The Hindu. Hughes is a USA-based satellite internet service provider. The company operates in India and launched India’s first commercial satellite broadband service in collaboration with ISRO, yesterday.
By eliminating the possibility of using this service for phone calls or recreational activities, the use case becomes very small and thus, it might get approved by the Indian government in its current shape.
Speaking with The Hindu, Suneel Kumar Niraniyan, DDG (Satellite), Department of Telecommunications (DoT) concurred. He said, “We already have satellite connectivity technology available in India. If Apple comes up for clearance on this then we are ready, but they have to tie up with a satellite operator”.