A Rough Guide to Satellite Texting

Abhishek Kothari
4 min readSep 14, 2022


Bailey Alexander on Unsplash

I think that a good mountaineer is usually a sensible mountaineer — Edmund Hillary

Apple Gets Edgier

One of my takeaways from Apple’s ‘Far Out’ event this year was that Apple just got edgier with satellite texting and the Apple Watch Ultra.

I buy (upgrade after trading in my old iPhone) a new iPhone every year. It’s an annual ritual. When I watched Apple’s event this year, my initial reaction was that it was all improvisation not innovation.

However, as I delved deeper, I realized Apple’s event focused on the adventurer — my soul. In 2019, I had a chance to visit the east coast of Antarctica from New Zealand. Most people visit Antarctica from Ushuaia, Argentina and they land on the west coast. The east coast of Antarctica appeals more to me. It’s a different story that I never embarked on that adventure. If I did, I wish I had a satellite phone. There is a certain romance in getting lost in a dark place with limited communication. It goes without saying I am a romantic fool.

What is a Sat Phone?

Iridium introduced me to satellite phones. While I did not possess one, I heard about a satellite phone for the first time through the company’s adverts. In 1989, Motorola proposed the first telephony system based on telecommunications satellites.

Per wikipedia, a satellite telephone, satellite phone or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to other phones or the telephone network by radio through orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites, as cellphones do. The advantage of a satphone is that its use is not limited to areas covered by cell towers; it can be used in most or all geographic locations on the Earth’s surface.

There are two types of satellite constellations that a satellite phone uses i.e. satellites that are geostationary or satellites that are in low orbit. Satellites that are geostationary are 5,786 kilometres (22,236 mi) above the Earth’s surface, and satellites in low Earth



Abhishek Kothari

Futurist@The Intersection of Finance, Tech & Humanity. Stories of a Global Language: “Money”. Contributor @ Startup Grind, HackerNoon, HBR