Last year Lynk — then announced Ubiquitilink — showed that from now on, every phone can be a satellite phone. But they’ve spent the last year honing the make and has only just been substantiated the real thing: Sending a plain aged text send from a” cadre tower in space” to a ordinary telephone on the surface.
Of course there are ” real ” spacecraft telephones, but these expensive, complex machines establish a dedicated tie-up abusing frequencies not utilization of regular portables — and of course, they’re quite expensive and oversized. The whole idea of Lynk is to provide similarly globe-spanning connectivity without anyone having to buy a dish, an accessory, or even a brand-new phone.
It directs, as benefactor and CEO Charles Miller explained to me last year, very much the way normal cadre signals drive. It is about to change that when your radio beam exits straight up instead of passing through constructs and the landscape, it can easily reach low-toned Earth orbit. The question comes with the physics involved in synchronizing the signals — doppler shift and other factors.
That’s the problem Lynk set out to solve, and has lofted three spacecrafts to measure. A fourth is on the way, but the third was perfectly capable of their first public demonstration of what could eventually be a universally accessible data service.
” This is the first time we really ship a letter from seat to a standard, unmodified phone ,” Miller said.” We did it in the most visible way that people can understand, an emergency alert .”
You can watch the video of the text received by the secretariat below. Bear in spirit these people are sitting out in the Falklands, a location where cell coverage is essentially nil but which happens to be an ideal location for receiving a satellite signal. They get pretty excited.
What’s happening is the satellite is passing overhead, establishing a 2G cadre signal with the phone, and giving the textbook send with the remedy encoding to create an alert. With a relatively small network of such spacecrafts, one could alert the entire world in time a few minutes, if one had something important enough to say.
Importantly, however, the connection is two-way. It’s not expressed above, but your telephone would be able to send a text via the same signal, when no other signal is available. That would be great for disasters, remote expanses, and other outlier situations.
” There’s some interesting kinks to concluding it wield ,” Miller said.” We previously knew we could do it — physic and engineering don’t lie if you know what you’re doing. We’ve had it working in the lab for a while, but going it to work in reality, flying real hardware that connects to real hardware on Earth, is harder. People are skeptical, so we just had to prove it .”
The fourth spacecraft, with which Lynk plans to demonstrate more capabilities to its telecom marriages( which Miller was very careful not to mention by reputation ), is already up on the ISS and will be put into its own orbit soon. Further propels are planned for the fall.
” We’ve just propelled satellite after satellite because that’s the best road to learn ,” said Miller.” You’d never learn this stuff in books or computer dissections or simulations. You’re almost always going to have setbacks .”
The plan, though subject to the usual space-based business contingencies, is to announce partners around the world this year and perhaps even begin restriction work. There’s a ton of paperwork, as you might imagine, because Lynk essentially has to get regulatory approval in every country that it plans to offer serving in — which is to say, pretty much all of them.
Commercial partnerships will be participating, of course, but Miller was quick with securities that this would not hamper the system’s use for emergencies. 911 texts, alarms, and other applications are cut out of the exclusivity contracts.
Miller is highly optimistic about the market potential now. 5G, he pointed out, is expensing billions but buyers couldn’t care less.” Really it’s just incremental, somewhat faster velocities for the persons who once have connectivity, going from 4G to 5G. People say they want it, but they aren’t willing to pay for it. Telecoms are starting to realize that ,” he said.” Disappearing from zero G to 4G, that’s not incremental. For person or persons with no connectivity, some connectivity can be life changing .”
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