Last year, Apple introduced its first smartphones with support for satellite communication. iPhone 14 models allow you to call emergency services for help where there is no signal from cellular networks (Emergency SOS). The iPhone will help find a satellite and connect to it to call rescuers. And at the same time, you can briefly report what exactly happened.
It seems that similar (and even more advanced) technology will soon appear in Samsung smartphones. The South Korean company introduced the Exynos Modem 5300, which allows you to stay connected even in remote parts of the planet thanks to the support of 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN).
The new modem also supports the 3GPP Release 17 standard to enable interoperability between new telecommunications networks and hardware and software developed by smartphone manufacturers.
A smartphone sends a message to a satellite, which transmits it to a ground station. It, in turn, transfers it to a regular cellular network for another user to receive.
The modem supports two-way communication, so it can not only send messages, but also receive them. At most, users will be able to send high-resolution photos and videos via satellite in the future.
Samsung sees uses for the technology not only in smartphones, but also in vehicles such as flying cars and drones. The company is also working on narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) technology, which will eliminate the need for a separate powerful chip in smartphones.
On the competition side, Qualcomm recently announced Snapdragon Satellite technology, which also aims to add two-way satellite messaging to smartphones. We should see the first such devices in the second half of this year. By the way, Qualcomm is also behind the development of Apple’s satellite communication.