The Galaxy S23 series that Samsung will launch in the first quarter of next year should feature satellite communications support, just like Apple’s iPhone 14 and Huawei’s Mate 50 series. While a report says that Samsung has been developing the feature for a couple of years, Samsung is still following Apple’s lead in the industry. But if there was one feature every Android vendor should copy, it’s support for satellite communications for emergencies.
In September, Apple announced support for satellite communications for the entire iPhone 14 lineup, but the feature just rolled out a few days ago. iPhone 14 owners can test the feature to see how Emergency SOS over satellite works. Unlike Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity, the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity will only work in case of emergency.
BREAKING！The Samsung Galaxy S23 series may support satellite communications. pic.twitter.com/Mgzshhmvuo
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) November 24, 2022
Specifically, people in distress who can’t connect to Wi-Fi or a cellular network to call emergency services will be able to text them via satellite. The iPhone 14 lets users share their location with loved ones when they’re off the grid.
According to ET News, Samsung is working with satellite communication company Iridium, which has 66 low-orbit satellites around the planet. The plan is to provide voice and data communication services.
Samsung has been developing the feature for a couple of years, looking to overcome the difficulties associated with satellite communications. The company reportedly wants to transmit text messages and low-resolution images over satellite. This would be an upgrade over what the iPhone 14 can do.
The biggest challenge is miniaturizing a satellite antenna to fit inside a smartphone like the Galaxy S23. Voice and high-speed data communication over satellite require large antennas. These are features that aren’t coming to smartphones anytime soon.
Locating a satellite on iPhone 14 for Emergency SOS communication. Image source: Apple Inc.
Even though Samsung appears to have bigger goals for satellite communications, it should still replicate the iPhone 14’s primary use for the technology. Adding satellite support to a phone for emergency services would be a welcome first step toward bringing more sophisticated satellite communication to smartphones.
The report says that Samsung should release its satellite communication products in the near future due to pressure from Apple and Huawei. Therefore, flagship phones like the Galaxy S23 series should be the first to support the technology. Still, it’s too early for Samsung to talk about these initiatives. An official refused to confirm or deny the feature.
Samsung should unveil the Galaxy S23 series in February or March.