HomeTechnologyMobileBullitt Group, MediaTek Tease Satellite-to-Mobile Messaging Phone

Bullitt Group, MediaTek Tease Satellite-to-Mobile Messaging Phone

A British smartphone company that releases devices under the brand name CAT and Motorola has entered into a partnership with MediaTek on a phone that offers satellite-to-mobile messaging.

When Bullitt Group launches the device in Q1 2023, it could be a game changer for anyone in a rural area where sending text messages is not possible due to lack of mobile signal.

“We’ve known for a long time that the answer lay in the satellite, but an ‘invisible’ and seamless integration into a smartphone creates enormous technical challenges,” said Richard Wharton, co-founder of the Bullitt Group. “MediaTek and Bullitt share a pioneering spirit and a history of innovation, so now, nearly two years into our relationship, together we are at the forefront of a new era in telecommunications and the fastest, easiest way for our carrier channel partners to to offer total peace of mind to their customers.”

This will be the first phone to use MediaTek’s 3GPP NTN (Non-Terrestrial Network) chipset, which enables the phone to send messages via satellite. The software in the device knows whether the phone is connected to Wi-Fi or cellular and will only send messages via satellite if none of the traditional messaging connections are available.

It sounds like sending messages won’t take long, as Bullitt says the time to connect to the satellite and send a message is about 10 seconds. That’s slower than cellular or Wi-Fi, of course, but it’s still a manageable time frame.

If you live in a metropolitan area and don’t have the inclination to backpack in the mountains, the importance of this innovation may escape you. Still, this phone can be a big deal for people who struggle to send a simple message when they’re not connected to their home Wi-Fi network.

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Of course, we have a lot more to learn about the device before we can pass judgment. We’ll need to see what the device looks like, learn more about its specs and how much it costs to send messages via satellite before we can determine if it’s worth getting excited about.

The company did say it will provide one year of emergency SOS support for its new device, similar to the iPhone 14.

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