Globalstar, a satellite communications company, announced on Friday that it has partnered with Apple to provide satellite connectivity for the iPhone 13. The company’s stock soared by more than 60% after the news, reaching its highest level since 2014.
Globalstar’s CEO, Jay Monroe, said that the partnership with Apple was a “validation” of the company’s technology and network. He added that Globalstar has been working with Apple for over a year to enable the satellite text service, which will allow iPhone 13 users to send messages in areas without cellular coverage.
The satellite text service will use Globalstar’s low-earth orbit satellites, which are designed to provide voice and data services to remote and rural areas. The service will be available through the iPhone’s emergency contacts app, and will require a subscription from a wireless carrier.
Former Qualcomm CEO to lead Globalstar’s technology arm
Globalstar also announced on Friday that it has hired Paul Jacobs, the former CEO of Qualcomm, to lead its newly formed technology arm, Thermo Acquisitions. Jacobs, who left Qualcomm in 2018 after a failed attempt to take the company private, will oversee Globalstar’s innovation and strategy.
Jacobs said that he was excited to join Globalstar and Thermo Acquisitions, and that he sees “tremendous opportunities” to leverage Globalstar’s spectrum and satellite assets. He said that he plans to develop new products and services that will enhance Globalstar’s offerings and create new revenue streams.
Jacobs also said that he has a “long-standing relationship” with Apple, and that he hopes to collaborate with the tech giant on future projects. He said that he believes that satellite connectivity will become more important as the world becomes more connected and data-hungry.
Globalstar faces competition from other satellite players
Globalstar is not the only company that is trying to tap into the growing demand for satellite communications. Other players in the space include SpaceX, which is launching thousands of satellites under its Starlink project; Amazon, which is developing its own satellite constellation called Project Kuiper; and OneWeb, which is backed by the UK government and Indian conglomerate Bharti Enterprises.
These companies are aiming to provide high-speed internet access to millions of people around the world who lack reliable broadband connections. They are also competing for lucrative contracts from governments and businesses that need secure and resilient communications.
Globalstar, however, has an advantage over its rivals in terms of spectrum. The company owns a valuable band of radio frequencies that can be used for both terrestrial and satellite communications. This band, known as S-band, is compatible with most smartphones and can support 5G services.
Globalstar said that it has licensed its S-band spectrum to several wireless carriers around the world, including AT&T, Verizon, Vodafone, and Telstra. The company said that it expects to generate significant revenue from these agreements in the coming years.