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Samsung is bringing two-way satellite connectivity to smartphones, but there’s a catch

Strong communication to get the whole message out.

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Samsung has announced how it will move forward with its plans for introducing 5G satellite communications for smartphones.

According to a Samsung Newsroom press release, the company now has the standardization of 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN), progressing with giving smartphones the ability to communicate with other phones and satellites. Technology like this would typically be used in emergency situations (such as a disaster) and circumstances where a typical network signal is otherwise unreachable. The Korean OEM explains that the NTN communication technology uses both satellites and non-terrestrial vehicles to provide the optimal connection for phones. This should bring communications online for users in previously unreachable areas such as mountains, deserts, and an ocean.

Samsung states it has developed and simulated this new 5G NTN satellite technology using the Exynos Modem 5300. While this should bring about quite a reliable experience for the user, the Exynos modem aids in accurately predicting and minimizing frequency offsets caused by the Doppler Shift. Paired with this, Samsung appears confident this new 5G NTN satellite communication technology can open the way for full two-way text messaging, HD image and video sharing, as well. This is quite different from what Apple is offering for its iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity which can transmit smaller, compressed text messages.

Min Goo Kim, Executive Vice President of CP (Communication Processor) Development at Samsung Electronics said, 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. Samsung aims to take the lead in advancing hybrid terrestrial-NTN communications ecosystems around the world in preparation for the arrival of 6G.”

The company’s 5G NTN standard is said to assist in ensuring interoperability and scalability among devices offered by worldwide telecom carriers, mobile device makers, and chip creators. Samsung is also interested in continuing this technological advancement in future Exynos chips.

It was around the time of Samsung’s Unpacked event when we learned the company wasn’t quite ready for bringing satellite connectivity to its Galaxy S23 series. Samsung still has a little more work to do in that department, however, its latest line of flagships no longer uses the Exynos chipset. Instead, they utilize the most recent Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. A bit of saving grace here is that Qualcomm does have plans to bring two-way satellite communication capabilities to top-of-the-line phones using its most recent mobile platform which may arrive in consumers hands during the second half of 2023.

Source: Samsung Newsroom