Google satellite imagery
Boeing's satellite system for global broadband coverage may get Apple funding

Apple is allegedly in talks with aerospace giant Boeing regarding an investment deal for a broadband satellite service that covers the entire US as well as the rest of the globe. The Cupertino giant's latest high-profile recruits include two Google executives specialising in satellite imagery and communications, while Boeing's recent regulatory filing further emphasises the latest developments between the two tech giants regarding Apple's funding into the lucrative $30 billion project.

Although Boeing has been in constant talks with Apple about their highly-probable partnership on the project, there has been no official confirmation from either of the two companies about finalising the deal.

Nevertheless, Tim Farrar (an industry consultant) has recently quoted an insider suggesting that Apple would indeed be funding the Boeing project.

Meanwhile, a Boeing spokesman has declined to comment on the latest developments between the two companies.

The proposed project basically employs an NGSO (non-geostationary satellite orbit constellations) low-earth orbit satellite system with the goal of achieving superior broadband coverage service globally, including the entire US.

According to Boeing's recent FCC filing, it plans to allot and authorise new uplink spectrum in the bands 50.4-51.4GHz and 51.4-52.4GHz to unlock a total of five gigahertz of paired spectrum for V-band operations.

The catch here is to offer low latency and faster connection speeds than existing data-network systems, albeit at the same cost to all users regardless of their geographical location.

Here are the currently allocated broadband spectrum frequencies for satellite up-linking in the US:

  • 47.2-50.2 GHz: Not yet designated for fixed satellite service use.
  • 50.4-51.4 GHz: Shared between NASA/military and commercial entities, with co-primary allocations for fixed, fixed satellite, mobile and MSS services.
  • 51.4-52.4 GHz: Currently allocated for terrestrial fixed and mobile wireless services.

As the aforementioned frequency bands are not used by terrestrial wireless networks, they will be extremely reliable for satellite-based networks that rely on millimetre wave technology and phased array formation for transmission of data through individual frequencies without jamming the signals.

Here are the excerpts of Boeing's FCC filing that sums up the whole project:

"By bringing comparable Internet speeds, performance and prices to Americans regardless of where they live, satellite broadband systems also have the potential to create new national broadband competitors and re-invigorate the United States telecommunications marketplace."

[Source: Bloomberg]