Bullit Group has started a partnership with MediaTek to launch the world’s first smartphone to include two-way satellite messaging technology. 

Over the past 18 months, MediaTek and Bullitt have collaborated to integrate satellite communications in a 5G smartphone designed by Bullitt. The phone and OTT satellite service will be made commercially available in the first quarter of 2023.

Technology

Bullitt is the first to use MediaTek’s 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) chipset. Proprietary software was developed to deliver an OTT satellite messaging service.

The software only uses the satellite’s link when a wifi or cellular connection is unavailable. The service connects with the user’s existing contacts to create a smooth experience when using satellite links to communicate on a cellular network. It takes about 10 seconds to connect to the satellite and send a message.

MediaTek and Bullitt

JC Hsu, General Manager of Wireless Communications Business Unit at MediaTek, shed some light on the partnership. “This relationship carries on our longstanding history of innovation and leadership in the formulation of the 3GPP NTN standard, which combines cellular and satellite connectivity in the same device.”

“In addition to the most recent mobile technology and the most sophisticated, highest-performing cellular connectivity features we have been working on, the 3GPP NTN effort advocates allowing device manufacturers access to satellite connectivity.”

“We are very proud of having created the two-way satellite messaging technology used in this first commercially available phone and for being the pioneers in creating the ecosystem based on 3GPP NTN standards for satellite communication.”

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