Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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    CAT will release the first smartphone with satellite messaging

    CAT will release the first smartphone with satellite messaging. Satellite communications look set to be the next area in which cellphone makers battle it out, with the Bullitt Group announcing on Tuesday that it will outbid other companies’ plans early next year.

    They’ve teamed up with MediaTek to introduce what they say is the world’s first smartphone to include two-way satellite messaging technology. The phone and OTT satellite service will be commercially available in the first quarter of 2023 and will include a free satellite SOS tag.

    Bullitt and MediaTek have been working together over the past 18 months to enable the addition of direct satellite communications in the next generation of 5G smartphones designed by Bullitt, the owner of CAT Mobile.

    Bullitt is thus the first to use MediaTek’s 3GPP NTN (Non-Terrestrial Network) chipset. Proprietary software and service components are also developed in parallel to provide an OTT satellite messaging service.

    Unlike the satellite SOS service announced by Apple, this should enable simple communication between a user connected to a satellite and another user on a regular mobile network. As they explain, the software only switches to a satellite connection when no cellular or Wi-Fi connection is available. The service integrates with the user’s existing contacts to provide a seamless experience when using a satellite connection to communicate with a mobile phone. The time for initial connection with the satellite and sending the message is about 10 seconds.

    -Bullitt designs and manufactures mobile phones under license from the Cat (Caterpillar Inc) and Motorola brands. Over 13 years, we have developed a deep understanding of our users who, due to the nature of their lifestyle or work, are often outdoors and often on the edge of mobile coverage. Globally, cell phone users lose signal for tens of billions of hours each year. Americans alone lose more than 22 billion hours of cell phone coverage per year. Signal loss is something we’ve all experienced at some point. Depending on the situation, this can mean embarrassment, frustration, anxiety, loss of productivity, or even loss of life.

    We have known for a long time that the answer is in the satellite, but the ‘invisible’ and seamless integration into the smartphone creates enormous technical challenges. MediaTek and Bullitt share a pioneering spirit and a history of innovation so now, almost two years into our relationship, we stand together at the forefront of a new era in telecommunications and the fastest, easiest way for our carrier channel partners to offer total peace of mind and think about their customers.

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