Samsung Unveils Smartphone-Satellite Connectivity Technology: Details

Samsung unveiled the 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) modem, which allows phones to communicate with satellites in areas where cellular network connectivity is unavailable. The company stated that it intends to incorporate this technology into its own Exynos chip, which is used in several Samsung smartphones, but not the current flagship Galaxy S23 series, which launched earlier this month. This technology, as explained by the South Korean tech giant, uses “satellites and other non-terrestrial vehicles” to provide connectivity in remote areas.

According to a press release by the South Korean giant, this technology will be integrated into the company’s Exynos modem solutions, boosting the commercial viability of 5G satellite communications and setting the stage for the 6G-powered Internet of Everything (IoE) era. Based on this technology, Samsung’s future Exynos modems will support two-way satellite text messaging as well as high-definition image and video sharing.

Samsung also plans to secure a standardized NB-IoT NTN technology for use in its next-generation modem platforms. With integrated satellite connectivity, Samsung’s NB-IoT solutions will eliminate the need for a separate high-power wireless antenna chip inside smartphones, providing mobile device makers with much greater design flexibility.

NTN is a communications system that employs satellites and other non-terrestrial instruments to provide connectivity to regions formerly inaccessible by terrestrial networks, such as over mountains, deserts, and the middle of the ocean. Samsung said that this will also be essential for guaranteeing disaster-response capability and powering future urban air mobility (UAM) systems such as unmanned aircraft and flying cars.

“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,” Min Goo Kim, executive vice president of CP (Communication Processor) Development at Samsung Electronics said.

Apple recently introduced satellite connectivity with the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro for off-grid connectivity. The company first made this technology available in the United States and Canada before expanding it to France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Apple is reliant on the Globalstar satellite network for the service.

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series of smartphones was launched earlier this week and the South Korean firm’s high-end handsets have seen a few upgrades across all three models. What about the increase in pricing? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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