MediaTek confirmed to power satellite communication in Bullitt's future phone

Chris Hall


MediaTek confirmed to power satellite communication in Bullitt's future phone

Bullitt and MediaTek have confirmed a partnership that's going to result in the launch of a device offering satellite messaging in early 2023.

Following the launch of the iPhone 14 with its satellite SOS feature, there's been growing attention to the possibilities that satellites offer, able to provide a degree of connectivity when out of cellular range.

Bullitt - behind a range of rugged devices under brands like CAT and Motorola - says that this is the first device to use MediaTek's 3GPP NTN (non-terrestrial network) chipset. The companies have put 18 months of development into it, the result being that you'll get a free-of-charge satellite SOS feature for the first year.

The device will switch to offering satellite connectivity when there's no other cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity, then enabling the owner to communicate with devices on regular cellular networks.

Little else has been said about the device, but the announcement sees the first commercial 3GPP NTN device coming to market - and we're expecting many others to follow suit. The significance of it being a 3GPP standard is that this standard will be worked towards by other manufacturers so there's a cohesive effort to push satellite communication forwards, rather than everyone having different solutions.  

We know little else about the device at the moment, but we're expecting many more details around the start of 2023, so we're likely a CES launch.

Samsung is rumoured to be including satellite communication in the Galaxy S23, expected to launch in the first week of February, so it looks like 2023 is going to be the year when satellite communications become commonplace in smartphones.

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