Bullitt, MediaTek to Launch Smartphone With Two-Way Satellite Messaging in 2023


Bullitt announced on Tuesday that it is teaming up with MediaTek to launch the world’s first smartphone to feature two-way satellite messaging technology. This undisclosed handset will be launched in the first three months of 2023. The smartphone will be manufactured by Bullitt and utilise MediaTek’s 3GPP non-terrestrial network (NTN) chipset. Unlike Apple’s satellite-based SOS emergency service, this new technology would enable users to seamlessly send messages to other handsets connected to regular networks. Bullitt has not revealed the exact regions where these features will be initially available.

Bullitt made the announcement on Tuesday that the smartphone and OTT satellite service will be made commercially available in the first three months of 2023. It has worked together with MediaTek for the last 18 months to develop this technology. Bullitt plans to use direct satellite communications technology with its next-generation of 5G smartphones.

It has revealed that a smartphone will only switch to the satellite link, if no cellular or Wi-Fi connections are available. Bullitt smartphone users will be able to seamlessly message their saved contacts that are connected to regular cellular networks. The company claims that it might take around 10 seconds to send a message through this service.

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

MediaTek had revealed earlier this year in August that it had successfully tested the world’s first 5G NTN smartphone communication technology. At the time, this technology was said to be highly capable of bringing “everywhere connectivity to consumer devices via satellite.”

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

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