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Samsung To Add Satellite Communication?

January 17, 2023

In September, Apple introduced one great function as part of its new iPhone 14 product line. This asset of the newest iPhone 14 is, of course, the possibility of this device being able to request SOS via satellite connection. This innovation was achieved through a partnership between Apple and Globalstar, with the "majority" of the money going to GlobalStar. Another company that also announced satellite communications on its smartphones was Huawei, using China's BeiDou network

Now, according to some indications, Samsung may bring the Iridium satellite connection to the Galaxy S23. News of a potential deal between Iridium and Samsung was first reported by the South Korean publication ETNews. This revelation could effectively reach many Android users through Samsung's Galaxy S23, which is expected to debut in February 2023.


As sources report, the Korean company will be negotiating this partnership with Iridium and these indications deepen after some signs in the stock market. Several analysts saw the performance of Iridium (IRDM) stock increase and shares in Iridium. These small signs could indicate a potential deal for the satellite connectivity provided to Samsung's Galaxy S23 smartphones.

Communications rose last week when investment firm William Blair hinted at a potential deal with Samsung. In fact, the American company already said in July that it was working with an "undisclosed partner" for satellite connectivity in smartphones.

What is the emergency SOS via satellite?

Satellite Emergency SOS is a security feature that Apple introduced to the iPhone 14 models. It is designed to help you contact emergency services in areas where there is no coverage. This means that if you are out of Wi-Fi or mobile coverage (you have no signal), you will be able to transmit a message via satellite to get the help you need.

It's a messaging system: you can't use it to make calls or anything like that. It is for emergencies only and will be forwarded to the appropriate emergency services. If you try to call the emergency services, a messaging interface will appear to help you.

The phone connects using radio waves using bands that are probably already supported by terrestrial networks. But since it connects to a satellite, the bandwidth is much less, which limits what can be done with it. Basically, the information is transmitted to the satellite, which relays it to a ground station and transmits it to the destination, in this case, to the emergency services.

Iridium expectations

The US Iridium satellite constellation provides L-band voice and data information coverage for satellite phones, pagers, and integrated transceivers across the Earth's surface. The constellation consists of 66 active orbiting satellites needed for global coverage. The satellites are placed in low Earth orbit (LEO) at an altitude of approximately 781 kilometers and with an inclination of 86.4Ā°.

Based on the current situation, the functionality of Iridium smartphones will be more expansive than the Apple-GlobalStar iPhone 14 partnership, which only entails sending a message via satellite to first responders for a 911 emergency situation when the user is out of range of mobile networks. It is added that a potential partnership with Samsung could bring at least $20 million in revenue for Iridium, but added that this estimate could be "conservative". Apple invested 450 million to "extend" the GlobalStar constellation.

Where is the satellite emergency SOS currently available?

At the time of launch, the service was only available in the US and Canada. This includes Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but not Guam and American Samoa. On December 13, it was extended to the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and Germany, with other countries said to arrive in 2023.

The regions are likely to be dictated by the agreement with the satellite provider, Globalstar. This also explains why it is only available in the US and Canada geographic regions, as well as some selected countries. It is not known when coverage will appear in other regions, only that the other countries will be added in 2023.

When it comes to Iridium, it is still unknown what reach Samsung S23 will have, if any. Butā€¦

Galaxy S23 may have a more powerful satellite connection than iPhone

ET News revealed the alleged details about the Galaxy S23's new connectivity. Unlike the technology offered by Apple, which operates only in emergency cases, Samsung phones will be able to send text messages and low-resolution images. According to information, the South Korean big tech would have managed to circumvent certain technical problems, such as the size of the antenna, and create a new RF-modem system. This expanded the possibilities of satellite communication on mobile devices.

In addition, Samsung plans to use 66 Iridium Communications satellites that operate in low orbit. In this way, Galaxy S23 owners would always be connected to the network maintained by the two companies.

Paid or free service?

Samsung's new communication format is similar to Huawei's project in China. With the support of Chinese BeiDou satellites, the Huawei Mate 50 allows you to send and receive limited text messages.

There is no information on whether the Galaxy S23 service will be free as Apple offers to iPhone 14 users. However, due to wider use, it is possible that the company or operators charge for sending

messages on satellite connections. Anyway, these details will only be confirmed in the announcement of Samsung's new phones. Speaking ofā€¦

Galaxy S23 is expected to arrive early next year

Samsung will reportedly launch its Galaxy S23 series of phones during the first week of February in the US. This is reported by the media from Korea, which quotes an official of the South Korean giant who is familiar with the market situation. It will also be the first Samsung event to be held live since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The exact date is still unknown.

The Galaxy S23 series is expected to consist of three phones - Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. All will be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, with the company ditching the Exynos chip. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is supposed to have a 200MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a 10MP telephoto camera. The phone will have 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage space.