Bullitt, MediaTek to launch smartphones with two-way satellite messaging in 2023

Bullitt announced on Tuesday that it is partnering with MediaTek to launch the world’s first smartphone with two-way satellite messaging technology. This undisclosed phone will be launched in the first three months of 2023. The smartphone will be manufactured by Bullitt and use MediaTek’s 3GPP non-terrestrial network (NTN) chipset. Unlike Apple’s satellite-based SOS emergency service, this new technology will allow users to seamlessly send messages to other handheld devices connected to a regular network. Bullitt did not reveal the exact regions where these features will be initially available.

Bullitt work for notification on Tuesday that smartphones and OTT satellite services will be commercially available in the first three months of 2023. It worked in conjunction with Mediatek over the past 18 months to develop this technology. Bullitt plans to use direct satellite communication technology with the next generation of 5G smartphones.

It has been revealed that the smartphone will only switch to the satellite link, if there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection. Bullitt smartphone users will be able to seamlessly message their saved contacts connected to a regular cellular network. The company claims that it can take about 10 seconds to send messages through this service.

Satellite OTT service will include satellite SOS feature, provided free of charge for the first 12 months from date of purchase. Bullitt has revealed that this offer will be applied to purchases made before December 2023.

MediaTek already has disclosure earlier this year in August, they successfully tested the world’s first 5G NTN smartphone communication technology. At the time, the technology was said to have the potential to bring “anywhere connectivity to consumer devices via satellite.”

It simulates a connection with the satellite constellation Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which orbits at an altitude of 600km at a speed of 27000km/h. The results concluded that a device with today’s smartphone form factor would be capable of supporting 5G NTN technology.

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