The trend has been emerging for several months, in the wake of the new Apple iPhones. Satellite communications, to send emergency messages in the absence of mobile network and wifi, are supported by the Apple 14 series. The option has been activated since mid-November in the United States, and will debut in December in France, as well as in a few neighboring countries. Besides these iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, Huawei’s Mate 50 Pro, much more confidential, is compatible in China with this option, and it is rumored that this will also be the case of the Galaxy S23 series of Samsung, expected next February.
Free emergency service for one year
For the time being, the dismantling of the iPhone 14 has made it possible to specify the origin of the modem compatible with satellite communications, which is signed Qualcomm. But the other major designer of mobile chipsets, MediaTek – which is by the way No. 1 worldwide thanks to its dynamism in the entry and mid-range markets – is not to be outdone. We learn today thanks to Bullitt that the Taiwanese will offer a chip, whose name is not yet specified, integrating a modem compatible with non-terrestrial networks. Unlike Apple’s service, Bullitt’s service, which will be offered to its customers for one year, then billed at a price that is still unknown, will allow “communicate with [le] phone connected to the mobile network” the usual contacts of the user, always with a view to sending them emergency messages. “It takes about ten seconds to initiate the connection to the satellite and send a message”says Bullitt.
A MediaTek partner, Bullitt addresses a niche market. The British is indeed specialized in robust smartphones, intended in particular for companies, and as such operates the Cat Phones brand. Its terminal compatible with satellite communications, he says, will be marketed in the first quarter of 2023, and will also be compatible with 5G. That’s all we know about it so far, and we’ll have to wait for CES in Las Vegas next January, or even the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (end of February), to learn more.