Bullitt Group has partnered with chipset provider MediaTek to launch a smartphone that includes two-way satellite messaging technology, which is expected to be commercially available in the first quarter of 2023.
The new “smartphone” is the first to use MediaTek’s 3GPP NTN (Non-Terrestrial Network) chipset, which combines mobile and satellite connectivity in the same device, the two companies explained in a press release.
Proprietary software and service components were also developed in parallel to provide satellite OTT messaging service. The device only communicates via satellite if no terrestrial or Wi-Fi connection is available, and initially it may take about 10 seconds to establish a connection and send a message.
This “smartphone” has 5G connectivity and the two companies took about 18 months to design it.
It should hit the market in the first quarter of 2023 and will offer the SOS function via satellite, which will be free for the first twelve months.