1) LEO. Low Earth Orbit. Starlink is in a lower than usual orbit, and look at the immense effort/expense to make base station antennae that can reliably communicate with the satellites. They're not going to magically stuff that into an iPhone.
EDIT: Some replies have said "Hey, Iridium is LEO". The same antenna issue applies.
2) Bandwidth. Unless Apple has been secretly launching their own fleet of satellites, where are they getting the bandwidth? I doubt it's Starlink. Any incumbent satellite operators (such as Thuraya, mentioned in another comment) are in Geostationary orbit, not LEO. This requires an even better antenna. See #1.
I don't claim to be an expert in any of this, adding this capability an iPhone would be as disruptive as the iPhone itself was. Apple was able to keep the iPhone under wraps, but it's impossible to do that with satellite launches and FCC filings as we've learned with SpaceX. So for these reasons I call Fake. Maybe next decade.
Iridium would work fine for this if you limit it to iMessage/SMS and anything else low-bandwidth (I would imagine they add 911/SOS support too).
I have a Garmin InReach which operates on Iridium, it's a 5+ year-old-device which works fine with Iridium in very challenging conditions and isn't very much larger than an iPhone.
Considering (some of) the commercial side of this, I strongly suspect the Iridium network has more than enough capacity for such a plan and Iridium could easily support it technically and they could work out some reasonable commercial terms with Apple for this. If Iridium doesn't want to work with Apple the company could surely be acquired for effectively pocket change by Apple and if they did release such hardware and charge a monthly subscription for "100% global coverage" it could be pretty quickly profitable.
But, with all of that said, I'm really not sure why Apple would want to do this. Like I said, I have an InReach, I'm commonly in areas with no cell service and so for me this would be a clear win and I would love it, but, I suspect I'm squarely in the minority.
If I could just by an iPhone13 and not have to also have an inreach, that would sell me on it.
That's not a massive market segment for sure, but I know plenty of folks living in vans in southern Utah who likely would do the same; so there is an identifable market even if its small.
Instant buy if they built iridium into an iPhone for emergency use… also… if they do that, invest in helicopter and life flight medical companies.
Thankfully Utah's avalanche center does post mortem YT videos, cause damn that really tempers my drive to get out there.
Snow is so freekin' dangerous.
There is a long discussion on moutainproject about what folks carry in their first aid kits... TBH, given that "stabilize for definitive care" is pretty much the limit of what I can actually do, anything that decreases that time by any amount is probably the best first aid.
I can easily see how this would be much cheaper and better than inreach and similar, even at the low-end of the capabilities.
And, if you must, you could get a Cospas-Sarsat PLB in addition to your avalanche beacon.
Would that be even noticeable on Apple's Income statement?
How big is this market?
For me, I'm not sure I'd want inReach-type capability in my phone if it was another monthly subscription fee. I'd prefer a separate extremely rugged device given that, when I might really need it, there's a decent chance I'm in really crappy weather, have gloves on, my face covered, etc. Who wants to be fiddling with their phone under those conditions?
Something people should consider when they read the words “rugged”, it’s not always about cracking/breaking.
When off, the battery seems to last "effectively forever" and when on it has "several days" of battery life even when doing constant communication with a satellite for location updates.
The photo seems to indicate the InReach is 3-4x as thick as an iPhone. I couldn’t find specs. Would you care to share the actual size?
It’s chunky. Hard to say how much of that is radio and antenna. And folks in this discussion seem to forget the antenna, which is multiples of iPhone thickness.
My larger point being that I don't find it implausible that it could be done, since, 6-year-old technology was already close.
Let's reserve words like "fake" for knowingly misleading or malicious misinformation. This might be wrong or misunderstood but I'm pretty sure it's not deliberate lies.
So much of the comments so far have focussed on two things: 1. The size of the antennae and 2. The huge cost of bandwidth on satellite services.
For 1, who's to say there isn't an add-on antenna planned? The news is about the baseband support. Knowing Apple they will sell a hugely expensive add-on antenna which connects via magsafe. This does not indicate the news is wrong.
For 2, obviously carriers or maybe Apple itself will have to organise the auth/payment arrangements to actually make use of this new capability. This also seems doable and is not a blocker, it means, this will not be some automatic free things users can just use on day one.
None of these points really strike me as showstoppers and certainly do not warrant claims of "fake!".
Here's what is actually being reported: the iPhone 13 will have the technical capability to connect, using some yet to be released antenna adapter, via some yet to be announced plans or arrangements, in some yet to be described capacity, to LEO satellite services.
This sounds a bit like Ed Colligan's immortal "they're not going to just walk in."
The thing is, you're right, of course they're not going to just tweak a few things and somehow fit a satellite antenna into a phone. They're going to put Apple-level resources into recruiting a team of the field's leading experts and funding them for years to do it.
As you say, this would be a genuinely disruptive development in mobile tech. It seems at very least plausible that Apple would see this as a problem worth throwing a spare billion at solving.
Some context for others like me
> Sarah Jane Tribble and Dean Takahashi, reporting for the San Jose Mercury News on Palm CEO Ed Colligan’s remarks two weeks ago regarding Apple’s prospects in the mobile phone market:
» Responding to questions from New York Times correspondent John Markoff at a Churchill Club breakfast gathering Thursday morning, Colligan laughed off the idea that any company — including the wildly popular Apple Computer — could easily win customers in the finicky smart-phone sector.
» “We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone,” he said. “PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”
Small antenna, text only, etc. Seems like Apple could disrupt here, but I don’t know a ton on antenna design.
Now imagine doing the same experiment where the dot is 540km away -- 5000 times farther. That's the altitude of a Starlink satellite. You might get lucky and sweep across the satellite once in a while but most of the time the beam will be many kilometers away from it.
It's not quite this bad; the beam will be fairly wide at 540km which makes the problem a little bit easier, but it's still basically impossible to hold the beam on the satellite for more than a few milliseconds.
And even that wouldn't work because you can't collect a strong enough signal from a satellite with an antenna the size of a cell phone. You need a parabolic dish or phased array about the size of a pizza box (minimum) to boost the gain enough. Satellites don't transmit with a lot of power, so your antenna needs a large area.
Good news: You don't have to do it this way. If you limit yourself to short text messages you don't have to aim the beam or use a lot of gain. That's how Iridium works.
But if you need a fatter pipe: Carry an antenna the size of a pizza box with you. Set it on the ground, let it acquire the satellite, then talk to it with your phone over wifi or bluetooth. Because this antenna uses closed loop feedback it can point very accurately at the satellite and stay locked on. This is basically how the Starlink antenna works, except Starlink would prefer that you not move the antenna from place to place (yet). And you'll need a big battery to power the antenna. It needs about 100 watts for transmitting; probably quite a bit less for receiving.
> Your aim has to be much better than the human musculoskeletal system is capable of.
> You need a parabolic dish or phased array about the size of a pizza box (minimum) to boost the gain enough.
No – there even is a very specific counterexample: https://satpaq.com/
I doubt that Apple would use that approach, though. If anything, I'd imagine that they'd use existing (for 802.11 and LTE) beamforming capabilities.
The only reason some pointing is required for Satpaq is that it uses GEO satellites which are a lot farther away than LEO, so concentrating most of the phone's energy into a cone a few thousand miles wide when it hits the satellite is necessary even for short messages. You need to do much, much better than this for high bandwidth applications.
GEO sats are also not a moving target; LEO sats are. That makes GEO slightly easier to point at, assuming you have a very wide beam which Satpaq does because it cannot possibly have a narrow one.
Again, high bandwidth satellite applications cannot work with such sloppy pointing mechanisms, and that limitation exists because of physics and information theory. It's not because "we just don't have good enough technology yet."
Beamforming techniques phones use to hit cell towers are not nearly good enough for satellites because satellites are so much farther away than cell towers. That means a satellite's transmitted energy is spread over a much wider area than a cell tower's is, and the ultra low power at which a phone transmits doesn't get a chance to spread out much before it hits the tower. You need a physically larger antenna when the thing you're pointing at is thousands of times farther away and you need to transmit with a lot more power. (Again, assuming you want the typical Youtube-style bandwidth cell phone users expect.)
As someone who owns a pretty big smartphone (iPhone 12 Pro Max) and both a current gen Iridium and Inmarsat phone (aka not a handheld two way pager, like the Garmin devices), I can assure you they aren’t similar in size in the slightest, even with the antenna stowed.
I can see people paying an extreme rate of say 10$/minute with serious warnings in a true emergency. But worldwide it might only be 100 phones at a time even with 10’s of millions of iPhones. Meanwhile averaging 100 calls * 10$/ minute is 1/2 billion dollars a year which could pay for bandwidth on LEO satellites.
Those numbers are of course pulled from thin air, but iridium suffers because few are going to keep such expensive service on a just in case basis. However, the technology and economics are really close to working out.
Yes, but you used the comparison to Starlink receivers. Per-phone is all that matters to refute your receiver size concern.
The reporting suggests that Apple partnered with Globalstar for delivery. I don't think anyone is under any illusions that Apple suddenly launched a LEO fleet but there's a lot of providers of satellite mobile telephony in the space and Globalstar is one of them. Low bandwidth satellite does not take huge hardware anymore.
You can buy Iridium or Globalstar mobile hotspots that are handheld in size (e.g., Iridium Go!). Many trail runners carry Garmin InReach which is phone-sized.
However, it's very un-apple-like to do something like that.
I own both an Iridium phone and an Inmarsat phone, both are current gen. If you don’t consider them bulky, then you must be used to using an iPad/tablet as a phone. The antenna alone is longer than my iPhone 12 Max.
Still challenging, but maybe not impossible.
And how much of that is just the IPX7 case?
There are certainly other possible designs, as those creative frame-antennas that apple so infamously popularized with the iPhone 4. Iridium uses a 1.6 ghz signal, there's a lot of creative packaging that can be done at those frequencies.
And definitely, if this is in an iPhone, I'm sure it's low bandwidth use only.
Thanks for proving my point and saving me the hassle of looking up the antenna inside. There is no way that would fit inside an iPhone, even with Apple’s creativity in antenna design.
The frequency, as previously stated, is not the problem, it’s the transmission power. You need a lot more more watts of EIRP to transmit reliably 350 miles (distance to LEO) than you do for 3 miles (average distance to a cell tower). A modern smart phone transmits at about 100-200mW on average, Iridium operates at around 2 orders of magnitude higher transmit power than that.
The key to keeping power consumption low is that you transmit momentarily, not constantly.
A use case like backup communication on an iPhone wouldn’t necessitate use of the iridium network at 100% duty cycle.
> There is no way that would fit inside an iPhone, even with Apple’s creativity in antenna design.
The vast majority of the volume that a helical antenna consumes is empty space. The obvious solution is not groundbreakingly creative: try using something other than a helical antenna.
The OP article explicitly says voice calls, which require a virtually 100% duty cycle. I entirely agree in an emergency beacon or maybe even messages capacity it’s potentially doable on an iPhone, but voice calls over satellite require a different antenna than is possible in the iPhone form factor. There’s been something like 50 satellite phones in common use, including at least one that is Android based, and the one thing that is constant across every single one of them is the size of the antenna, always requiring a large extension via fold or slide mechanism while a call is in progress.
I’ve personally owned over a dozen models of satellite devices (phones, beacons, terminals/hotspots, and two-way pagers) and used them on five continents, so I’m very familiar with the tech available in this space. There is just no existing satellite network that could support Apple’s iPhone footprint, even as a premium subscription add-on. There is zero chance Apple secretly and quietly launched their own satellite network, even just US based. Apple has also never been the lead adopter in any new radio technology / functionality (late to 3G, stalled on LTE due to early power usage issues, fairly behind even in 5G), especially one that is guaranteed to cause a hit to battery life in a big way, so I stand behind the statement this is a pipe dream for supporting voice calls.
> The vast majority of the volume that a helical antenna consumes is empty space. The obvious solution is not groundbreakingly creative: try using something other than a helical antenna.
There are only so many ways to make a circular polarized antenna (which is required to my knowledge for all existing sat networks). Yes, there are other ways besides helical antennas, but they still require much more space than is common to LTE/Wi-Fi/BT/BLE antennas used in phones.
For text messages or sending an emergency beacon signal, you don't need much bandwidth.
The surprise is Kuo specifying voice over IP as a supported feature, but modern codecs can really squeeze voice down now days.
>Lyra, which is now hosted on GitHub, can compress audio down to as little as 3 kilobits per second while still ensuring a sound quality that compares well with other codecs that require much greater bandwidth.
Technically, it may be possible but I think this is fake too - In India, you cannot own and operate a satellite phone without getting an NOC (no objection certificate) from the Home Ministry (who are in charge of internal security in india). Apple will not be able to sell its phone in India if it adds satellite telephony to it.
Most countries will react the same - no country likes to allow communication within its borders that it can't monitor (it's an obvious national security threat).
That...was like the whole point of my comment. Of course they're aware, and of course they aren't going to criminalize their users. This either isn't real, or Apple is going to figure something out to make it so this isn't a problem. What they can do to not criminalize their users is the really interesting question.
BTW, disabling illegal transmitting gear makes no difference to most authorities when importing. The only way to guarantee you won't get busted is to not import it in the first place.
I believe this is equivalent to fm radio capabilities in some of the iPhone chips
I'd say it is possible in the context of what I stated. But, the article's characterization seems too good to be true.
Phones are hard to differentiate these days, but "can be reached anywhere, always, no matter what" may be the last big differentiator left.
Would it really? I think satellite communication is something interesting in the outback in some regions where conventional signals aren't available.
Technically GPS is also unidirectional satellite communication, I guess. There are also personal locator beacons for emergencies. Don't really see the application. Maybe the first Apple smartphone gen has reached arthritis-age and goes on cruises?
I absolutely think it will exist in the future. Likely for very low bandwidth text messaging or maybe very low quality calls. Obviously, it will only work outside with line of site.
I don't think it's ready for the next iPhone though. I would be very shocked and surprised if this capability was on the iPhone 13, not surprised if on the 14.
And how is the M1 chip not an innovation on its own ?
First, let's examine some limitations we are dealing with:
1. On the receiving side the trade is power projected on the receiving terminal vs bandwidth. At lower bandwidth we can have quite reasonable power requirements, think GPS antennas. High bandwidth applications are all limited by FCC power per cm2 projection limits. Without those limits LEO satellites could focus transmit onto a much smaller area and enable high-bandwidth receivers that are basically cell-phone sized. Given that GPS is a thing, we can definitely have low-bandwidth phone integrated satellite antenna.
2. On the transmit side primary trade is again transmit power vs bandwidth. Iridium phones are a thing https://www.iridium.com/products/iridium-extreme/, so low bandwith transmit is feasible.
Overall, I think it is quite unlikely that Apple is adding a dedicated on-handset satellite coms. It is possible, maybe even likely, they will be enhancing existing satellite communication capability or adding external devices. Even if they are enhancing satellite coms the provider is definitely not Starlink because phased array power requirements are staggering for mobile applications. So, assuming there is some truth to this leak, it is maybe 1, probably not 3, and almost definitely not 2:
1. Upgrading the existing GPS capability with new antenna / silicon. Most likely to support other positioning constellations https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-competitors-to-GPS, but in era of SDRs maybe sat signals in general.
2. The claim specifically talks about phone/text calls, to make that happen they will either need to integrate with Iridium or back a new not yet deployed service. On Iridium front there are a couple of problems, but they don't seem insurmountable: Iridium modems are expensive and iPhone power/thermal requirements will mean developing logic that is significantly better than anything on the market. Of course Iridium IP licensing or company acquisition would be big news breaking quite a bit before we see any devices, so this is almost certainly not happening.
3. First party integration of external satellite antenna into iPhone ecosystem. Introducing Apple emergency beacon. Deploy this beacon anywhere in the world and get emergency communications for affordable* price. Basically a modern, Apple sleek, version of https://www.iridium.com/blog/2012/05/23/iridium-connected-de... .
I would argue that you’ve just illustrated my point. It also wouldn’t take a lot to convince me that you’re being facetious.
The list is endless.
This doesn't seem to be Apple's tech specifically, but they could have some interesting things to add to the service bundling and what applications would actually benefit from this connection.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I am expecting something on the order of text-only iMessages for a low monthly fee.
I feel massively safer having this beacon in my pack. It also makes a great, albeit expensive, gift for friends who are similarly active.
But thank you, I’d never heard of those before.
You can activate a GPS-located SOS and send messages home to check in.
And would there be free SOS emergency service? Seems like that would be a huge selling point to get people to upgrade. People who wouldn't otherwise want or need satellite communication.
SOS is only possible with a monthly plan, but I‘d guess that Apple might make that one free (it wouldn‘t make for good press to hear of the inevitable lost hiker holding a fully charged iPhone but no emergency calling plan).
And it would be great free advertising. I'm just imagining the first news story with a lost hiker rescued because of their iPhone. It would make a big impact.
it's a different story if they're offering satellite connectivity.
LOL. If Apple is getting this then Android will get this, if not sooner (think Google Fi), since this is built in the radio chip (something Apple still buys from 3rd party).
You can get them used for 700 usd
Is that allowed? In normal cell coverage areas, emergency calls are routed by law even without a SIM card.
False alerts are probably a real concern. I had to provide two emergency contacts for the service I‘m using. The operators will call them before dispatching emergency services to catch accidental activations.
Really, phones are a bad bet, for stealing, these days; especially Apple kit.
Not unless that’s changed recently. The last time I tried with Iridium (when in an actual emergency) calling 911 wasn’t supported in any capacity. I had to call someone else and have them relay my call.
That link actually says only 2 of 4 supported 911/112 in 2014. It explicitly states:
> You will need to obtain the full international access code, country code, and phone number for the local fire, police, or ambulance depending upon the nature of the emergency and store it in your contacts.
for Thuraya and Globalstar (at least back then).
Either way, I said Iridium didn’t and apparently I was wrong (as my example was from 2016). Maybe I had a Globalstar phone that time? Iridium definitely didn’t in 2008 though.
>Last year Lynk — then called Ubiquitilink — showed that, from now on, every phone can be a satellite phone. But they’ve spent the last year honing the product and have just demonstrated the real thing: Sending a plain old text message from a “cell tower in space” to a normal phone on the surface.
I was quite happy to read this news simply for the fact that if true it should hopefully cut into the arm-and-leg price Garmin charges for me to use my InReach to access the satellite network.
> 5.17 x 9.90 x 2.61 cm
That's the same order of magnitude of volume as a phone.
If this was baked into an iPhone I doubt the server would be cheaper.
The part of this article about FaceTime calls over satellite sounds like editorialization, though. FaceTime requires a relatively large amount of bandwidth to pull off, which isn’t in the realm of possibility with current systems.
Smallest devices being able to access satcom were the size of a pager 15 years ago, and most functioned like that.
Power envelopes definitely allow for that, especially if you only need to send individual messages of few hundred kilobytes.
The frequency isn’t the issue, it’s the distance it needs to transmit. Increased output power/longer distance needs a bigger antenna. Iridium / Starlink / other LEO satellites are >300 miles above the earth. Your smartphone doesn’t have even remotely enough power to transmit that far, good luck getting even 1/10th that distance for even a very shaky connection.
As a concrete example, your phone’s cell radio transmits at 100-200mW into an antenna which has minimal additional gain. Iridium / Inmarsat phones transmit at around 10W into a higher gain and significantly larger antenna. That’s two orders of magnitude more EIRP in the end.
Apple might be able to do an emergency beacon like transmission from an iPhone into LEO, but assuredly can not do a continuous transmission like in a phone call, even at very poor audio quality, without a relatively massive change in phone dimensions.
In any case iridium devices usually output max 2w. Same as 4G.
Not according to Iridium’s data sheets I just read and provided values in my post
> Same as 4G
Nope, back in AMPS days power could be up to 2W, but 4G UEs are almost always limited to a maximum of 23dBm (aka 200mW).
> Transmit power has nothing to do with antenna length.
Correct if you are purely talking about antenna design from a generic pov. In the case of a phone, it does matter because you can’t transmit 10W into an omnidirectional antenna pressed up against someone’s ear due to current regulations, so it necessitates moving the antenna further away (hence one reason sat phones have a “whip antenna”, but there are other reasons too). This effectively makes the antenna “larger”.
2400bps is plenty fast for texting and coincidentally was the speed of my first modem!
Vaccine passports and require a PCR plus quick test before departure for all crew and passengers should do the trick.
Buut it's all a balance, see comments here for instance https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/28/travel/cruise-industry-co...
Find My would be a good fit for a basic application: low bandwidth, low usage frequency, low service quality demand. Communicate locations of iPhones and other devices that support Find My, therefore making the whole network more capable by covering locations without any infrastructure.
It’s not - they’re called Galileo - but it made me think: do modern gps devices only connect to the American GPS satellites or has gps become a catch-all phrase for all the different systems and do iPhone read location from both?
Modern "GPS" chipsets work with multiple SatNav systems. My phone has GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo capability.
iPhones support GPS, Galileo (ESA), GLONASS (Roscosmos), QZSS (JAXA) and so-called assisted GPS – location computed from cell towers.
Sure, they are not yet as polished as those where a cult like controll freak or a private data merchant dump a lot of money, but one has to start somewhere.
Edit: to clarify India banned satcom devices
But if these countries do nothing and change nothing, this feature means that it would be prohibited to bring iPhone 13s in the country without special permits.
...this was also part of the plot of Independence Day.
I don't think they can tractably do that. If India started shooting down US satellites they'd be in for a whole world of problems.
At a minimum, it is effective enough that it is a response that would be expected to be elicited if a government found a device undesirable.
You can just about jam GPS signals locally (within a few km if you pour the resources into it.) Nations are not able in practice to generally jam satellite signals.
We know that nations are not able to do this in practice... because it's how people from those locations are calling out to us.
You don’t. You prevent people from getting access to the device in the first place. There are no countries where people already have iPhone 13s. A country that doesn’t want them, could certainly ban their import.
There ain’t too many people watching HBO on their satellite TVs in North Korea.
> There are no countries where people already have iPhone 13s.
They have Iridium, Garmin, etc. Any number of satellite devices.
> A country that doesn’t want them, could certainly ban their import.
I think you're super-naive if you think import bans on these devices work in practice, sorry. They're easily concealable.
As to why: Indian customs officers confiscating all iPhones is probably bad for business (in the long term).
I might as well submit that on HN.
Yes, and no. it depends on the frequency.
However I don't want to put a phased array shitting out 4-15 watts of power at 1.6gigs near my head. I doubt it'll pass the emissions certification either.
The official webpage with absolutely no interesting information: https://www.breitling.com/us-en/emergency/
There are a few blurry fractions of a second of the antenna being deployed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJvyZNHnMGE
What it sounds like over a radio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlC5frFhjqs
It comes with a tester (basically a radio with no tuning knob): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3R7lhLqVo8
Edit: I found some more footage of it being used in this highly dramatic, uh, presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2y-TQSL6XE
They appear to have reused that footage in another episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgRom5gINtI
Theye recently got Android phones too https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thuraya-X5-Touch-Satellite-Phone/dp...
My bet is on Iridium (or possibly Globalstar, although that would be a pretty un-Apple like compromise in quality too).
Inmarsat is the only other option, but I think antenna size/directionality would exclude that as well.
I know of one place where Apple does this: in China, and only China, you can buy an iPhone with two physical SIM slots. You can do Dual SIM on iPhones elsewhere, but only with an eSIM.
It may sound super counterintuitive, but providing a stable link to a geosynchronous satellite on a handheld hardware with tiny antenna is easier than with fast flying low earth orbit satellites.
And I doubt't that voice communications, or even Internet service would be there, just SMS, or pager like functionality most likelly.
Iridium modems are among the smallest satellite transceivers available, much smaller than GEO ones.
Looking at something like the Garmin InReach shows what‘s possible with Iridium, and I imagine Apple would be throwing a lot more money at the technical/design constraints.
Than system communicating with geostationary sats.
Training the circuitry onto one weak, but stable satellite signal is much easier than keeping readjusting, or communicting with multiple satellites at once.
Just like with the GPS, the trick is the super duper accurate, and stable frequency reference.
GSM phones used to have large external antennas too, until one day they simply didn‘t anymore.
- Released end of 2018
- 2GB RAM, 16GB storage
- Android 7.1
- C H O N K score: 2.46cm thick
Also seems implausible when the 13 is already in volume manufacturing and this is the first we’ve heard of it…
It‘s just the spectrum that is very, very expensive (due to a cell being hundreds of kilometers in diameter).
First, leo needs a wedge of RF power. like 10-25watts. (less if you have satellites with a huge power budget)
You have that near your head, that means some _serious_ active antenna design.
Failing that some other engineering is going to be needed on the satellite end.
I can't see the regulators allowing that much RF power near your head.
I’m picturing for hiking or kayaking alone in remote areas.