Bullitt and MediaTek will introduce a satellite-to-mobile messaging smartphone in Q1 2019

It turns out that satellite messaging, not 6G, is the next connection frontier after 5G. T-Mobile and SpaceX are developing a more all-encompassing communication system, while Apple has already released an SOS and location-sharing system. Now, the British business Bullitt asserts that it will debut the “first satellite-to-mobile messaging smartphone” before them.

The technology Bullitt outlines will allow seamless messaging between a user connected to a satellite and another connected to a standard cell network, unlike Apple’s SOS by Satellite. With Apple’s technology, you can only share your location with emergency responders in one of two ways.

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If you are unfamiliar with the company, Bullitt manufactures rugged phones for some well-known manufacturers, especially Cat phones but also products like the Motorola Defy.

Bullitt and MediaTek
Bullitt and MediaTek

Professionals who might need to work in the field away from cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots are frequently targeted by marketers with these extra-durable devices. Customers of Bullitt will benefit greatly from the certainty that they can always send and receive messages regardless of where they are.

Together with MediaTek, this project has been in development for the past 18 months. The Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) modem from MediaTek was tested in a lab earlier this year to show off its capabilities.

The test mimicked communication with a satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), or at an altitude of 600 km (370 mi) and a speed of 27,000 km/h (17,000mph).

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In around 10 seconds, the phones made by Bullitt will be able to connect and send a message over satellite. In the event that cell and Wi-Fi reception is lost, it will immediately switch to satellite communication. Although there are currently few specifics on how the messaging will function, the business insists that it will be seamless:

“We’ve known for a while that satellites hold the key, but an ‘invisible’ integration into a smartphone poses significant technical difficulties.

Bullitt Group co-founder Richard Wharton writes that because MediaTek and Bullitt have a history of innovation and a pioneering spirit, we are now, nearly two years into our partnership, at the forefront of a new era in telecommunications and the quickest, easiest way for our carrier channel partners to provide complete peace of mind to their customers.

Bullitt claims that the first satellite phones (as well as the satellite service itself) will be accessible in the first three months of 2023. A full year of free emergency messages will be included. There is no information available on the price or the general cost of communication.

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