After Apple and Huawei’s satellite connectivity feature rollout, Samsung is making its presence felt. According to a South Korean publication ETNews, Samsung Electronics (Samsung) is working on integrating satellite communications in its upcoming Galaxy series i.e. the Galaxy S23 series is slated to arrive early next year.
Samsung has partnered with iridium Communications to facilitate the functionalities that go beyond the capabilities of Apple’s SOS Emergency Satellite Communication in partnership with Global Star.
Samsung partners with Iridium Communications for Satellite Connectivity
Samsung has been working with Iridium Communications for two years now. It has been tackling challenges of satellite connectivity such as the integration of an antenna for reception. Iridium Communications is a major voice and data communications services company with a fleet of 66 LEO satellites.
Samsung will be tapping onto Iridium’s fleet to enable both text messages and low-res image sharing at a few hundred kbps of speed. Although the ideal situation will be the ability to voice call or have high-speed data access in remote locations, the feature is limited by the size of the antenna that is mounted on a phone. A larger antenna will enable mass services, however, it is an obstacle given that phones today are palm-sized even if you consider 6.7 or 7” devices.
Once the feature rolls out, the Samsung Galaxy S23 series (the potential first takers of the tech), will be able to exchange text messages, locations, and low-capacity images too. The prospect of satellite connectivity is to give users the capability to communicate with the outside world when there’s no cellular network available. You could be lost in a far-off region such as a forest or on an island.
Once you are in sight of a satellite (such as Iridium’s in the case of Samsung(, you should be able to contact rescue teams and emergency contacts for help.
Apple already has a dedicated satellite connectivity feature on iPhone 14 series. It partnered with Global Star with $450 million in funding that allowed it access to 24 LEO satellites to enable SMS and location sharing. Huawei also has a satellite connectivity feature partnered with Beidou in China. Samsung is working towards being the first smartphone maker to get the tech to users.
Samsung is working on integrating the feature into the upcoming Galaxy S23 series as said and again. The report adds that it has been able to integrate existing cellular modems with satellite communications modems that will save size inside a smartphone.