Wouldn’t it be great if you could call without a network using your Android phone? It might sound like a sci-fi movie, but the truth is we are going to get this feature on the Android 14 operating system. Motorola invented the first satellite phone in 1989. However, satellite phones were not available to the general public. Now it seems anyone can use it in the coming years. Let’s get to know more about Android 14 and its satellite connectivity.
Android 14 to feature satellite connectivity support
Google’s new operating system, Android 13, was unveiled at the end of July. Google released information about the beta version of Android 14 before Android 13 became a month old. As a surprise, this new version of Android will have satellite connectivity, claimed Google Ecosystem Senior Vice President Hiroshi Lockheimer.
According to his tweet, the next version of Android will have satellite connectivity. Google will help partners with this. It is expected that the beta version will be launched in 2023. He also said that the handsets would be linked directly to satellites to further improve the smartphone user experience around the world, which will be quite different from the current cellular connectivity.
However, Hiroshi Lockheimer did not give any details about this. But, it is expected that the old Android phones will also be able to get this feature by updating the operating system.
Other than this feature of the ‘next-generation Android 14 operating system, no other possible features have been revealed yet.
On the other hand, Elon Musk’s SpaceX partnered with T-Mobile to develop satellite connectivity.
What are the features to expect from satellite connectivity?
Many people think that satellite connectivity means very high-speed internet. But it is not the actual feature. One of the advantages of satellite phones is that even in remote, uninhabited areas where there is no cellular network, the user can communicate through SMS and calling. In the initial phase, only calls, SMS, and MMS will be available on satellite connectivity.
According to Lockheimer, satellite connectivity will provide many times better service than what can be experienced with standard LTE and 5G connections. This feature will start a new chapter in the communication system.
SpaceX & T-Mobile to introduce satellite features for phones in the USA
While we’re on the subject, the buzz in the tech world is that SpaceX and T-Mobile are teaming up to bring satellite connectivity to phones in the US. The telecom operator has already confirmed that it plans to use thousands of Starlink satellites to provide wireless connectivity to mobile users in remote areas of the country. Under this service, customers will be able to use the beta version of satellite internet on T-Mobile by June 2023. In addition to that, voice and data services are also expected to be offered later.
Elon Musk also said on Twitter that the Starlink V2 service will be launched in 2023 with a plan to “eliminate the global dead zone.” He even invited other companies to work with Starlink.
Will iPhone 14 have satellite features?
On the other hand, the tech giant Apple is preparing to announce the iPhone 14 series on 7th September. There has been speculation that the satellite connectivity feature may be added as a ‘wild card’ feature in the lineup.
As Bloomberg pointed out in a 2021 report, the tech giant has already completed hardware testing for satellite communication in the iPhone 14 series. This feature will allow users to connect to mobile networks to send messages in emergency situations in remote areas. Users will even be able to use the iPhone to report their situation in areas without cellular coverage.
However, Apple device analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is not yet sure if the feature will be made available in the iPhone 14 lineup at all. Because of this, Apple will have to tie up with a satellite operator, and no such deal has been reported yet. But if the feature is included, the satellite connectivity of the iPhone 14 series will only provide essential text message and voice services.
Will satellite connectivity be available worldwide?
The answer is a bit tricky. Companies such as Google and Apple will need to take permission/license from the particular countries they are intended to offer services, as satellite connectivity may raise security concerns. To recall, SpaceX previously returned pre-booked money to the Indian customers as they did not have a license from the Indian Department of Telecommunications.
As the world is becoming more technology-driven, the countries may lessen the regulations regarding satellite usage. Hence, satellite connectivity might be available worldwide in the coming years.
The use of Satellite phone technology in Android 14 can improve the future of communication because it doesn’t need the conventional mobile network. Furthermore, it is more reliable, and easier to use than traditional methods. With the right technology in place, people can easily stay connected no matter where they are in the world. However, in terms of pricing, satellite connectivity might be expensive initially.