Bullitt Group, which designs and manufactures rugged outdoor smartphones for both Cat phones and Motorola, and MediaTek announced that they are developing a smartphone with satellite messaging capability that will be used in the should come onto the market in the first quarter of 2023.
Satellite when neither mobile radio nor WLAN
The smartphone with MediaTek system-on-a-chip will appear with integrated two-way satellite messaging, relying on an over-the-top satellite service (OTT) that only works when there is no cell phone service or WiFi be available. The integration makes it possible to communicate seamlessly via satellite messaging with contacts on the cellular network. The time it takes to first connect to the satellite and send a message is around 10 seconds, according to the two companies.
SOS function free for one year
A satellite SOS function will also be included , which is to be offered free of charge for the first 12 months – the emergency call SOS introduced by Apple with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro, which will also be launched in Germany in December, is free of charge for the first two years after purchase.
< p class="p text-width">According to Bullitt and MediaTek, the development of the satellite news function for integration into upcoming 5G smartphones has been going on for 18 months. Bullitt says it will be the first manufacturer in the world to use MediaTek's 3GPP NTN (Non-Terrestrial Network) chipset. In parallel with the technical implementation, proprietary software and service offerings were developed to offer the OTT satellite news service.
That Bullitt integrates the new technology into an outdoor smartphone, with which one supposedly most often has neither cell phone reception nor a WLAN connection, seems understandable. According to data from 2019, smartphone users in the USA are also without cell phone reception for more than 22 billion hours a year. Above all, the integration of satellite technology in small smartphones was a problem for a long time due to the antenna design as well as the seamless changeover between mobile and satellite technology.
Branding as a CAT or Motorola smartphone still unknown
The Bullitt Group has made no statements as to whether the smartphone will be available under the CAT or Motorola brand. It is also unknown which satellite provider is used to ensure the service.
According to current rumours, the Samsung Galaxy S23 will also offer satellite communication.