FCC aims to make it easier for mobile phones to connect to satellite networks for communication

As an increasing number of operators enter the satellite communication services market, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) evidently seeks to facilitate mobile phone connectivity to satellite networks for communication purposes.

Presently, companies like Qualcomm and MediaTek have announced processor products supporting satellite network connectivity, while firms such as Apple and Huawei have unveiled mobile devices capable of directly connecting to satellite signals. Although satellite connectivity is not as fast as traditional telecommunications networks, it can maintain communication functions in areas where conventional networks cannot connect.

Qualcomm satellite network

The FCC’s plan aims to enable more people to access satellite communication services via mobile phones. By issuing licenses to telecommunications and satellite communication service providers, the FCC intends to leverage non-geostationary orbit satellites and telecommunications base station equipment to grant direct access to satellite communication services, thereby stimulating a potential market opportunity worth $30 billion.

The FCC has recently approved a collaborative service between SpaceX’s Starlink and T-Mobile, which will expand T-Mobile’s communication service coverage through satellite connectivity. As part of the FCC’s strategy, more partnerships between telecommunications service providers and satellite communication service providers are planned to fill gaps in coverage left by telecom base stations.

By further expanding mobile communication connectivity, the FCC anticipates the establishment of comprehensive 911 emergency systems in more regions or enabling users to make emergency calls directly from their mobile phones.