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Samsung unveils its own solution for satellite-based smartphone communication

Image Credits: Chung Sung-Jun / Getty Images

Earlier today, Samsung announced its own solution for satellite communication on smartphones. The company unveiled the 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) modem so phones can communicate with satellites in locations where there is no cellular network connectivity.

The company said that it aims to integrate this tech into its own Exynos chip, which is used in a lot of Samsung smartphones — but not the current flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S23. The Korean tech giant describes this tech as using “satellites and other non-terrestrial vehicles” to provide connectivity in remote areas.

The move follows Apple, which launched satellite connectivity with iPhone 14 and 14 Pro for off-grid connectivity. The company first made this tech available in the U.S. and Canada, later expanding it to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK. Apple relies on Globalstar’s satellite network.

“This milestone builds on our rich legacy in wireless communications technologies, following the introduction of the industry’s first commercial 4G LTE modem in 2009 and the industry’s first 5G modem in 2018,” Min Goo Kim, vice president of communication processor development at Samsung Electronics said in a statement.

“Samsung aims to take the lead in advancing hybrid terrestrial-NTN communications ecosystems around the world in preparation for the arrival of 6G.”

The current generation of satellite communication tech promises two-way texting and calling for emergency situations. But Samsung is claiming that future versions of its tech will be capable of sending photos and videos as well.

Last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Qualcomm announced a partnership with Iridium to bring satellite communication to Android phones powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.


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