MediaTek is set to showcase its new technology that can put two-way satellite communications in smartphones at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC), which will take place from February 27 to March 2. Some of the devices that will show if the semiconductor product really works from Motorola. The manufacturer will debut two satellite smartphones, the defy 2 and CAT S75, as well as a Bluetooth accessory equipped with MediaTek’s chip at the event.
The company’s answer to Qualcomm and Apple’s satellite technologies is a standalone chipset that can be added to any 4G or 5G phone. It uses the 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Network standard instead of proprietary technologies like Qualcomm’s and Apple’s do, which means it can be used in any network that follows the standard. MediaTek has partnered with a company called Bullitt to use the Satellite Connect service later and enable satellite messaging in the aforementioned Motorola devices.
Another difference is that the MediaTek chips connect to Geosynchronous Equatorial Orbit satellites instead of Low Earth Orbit satellites. The chipmaker says its technology enables not only emergency SOS texts like Apple’s can, but also full two-way messaging. That means it can actually receive messages sent through the satellite connection and not just send them. The iPhone 14, which debuted Apple’s satellite tech, cannot receive messages without a traditional cellular connection. Meanwhile, devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite tech must be manually refreshed for new messages.
The Motorola defy 2 smartphone and defy Bluetooth accessory will be released in the second quarter of the year across North America, Latin America and Canada and will be the first devices to offer MediaTek’s satellite capabilities.
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