After Apple, Samsung launches into the race for satellite communications

Satellite communications made their debut on consumer smartphones late last year, with the launch of the iPhone 14. Apple included the feature, dedicated to sending emergency messages from areas with no terrestrial network. traditional, on its latest generation of smartphones, which benefit from free access to the service for one year.

The announcements have since multiplied. Qualcomm raised the subject during its Snapdragon Summit in December 2022, opening the door to a generalization of the technology in its high-end Snapdragon chips, and MediaTek is expected in this field. A new player is added to this list: Samsung. The Korean, or rather its semiconductor division, to which we owe in particular the chipsets Exynos, announcement today having developed a standardized technology for modems operating on non-terrestrial 5G networks (NTN), and authorizing like its competitors “direct communication between smartphone and satellites, especially in isolated areas”.

This technology is destined to join the modems included in its Exynos chips, at least the most high-end ones. For the time being, Samsung indicates that it has carried out tests based on an already existing Exynos 5300, managing to “accurately predict the location of satellites”but promises to go much further: “Based on this technology, future Samsung Exynos modems will be compatible with sending and receiving text messages, but also high definition images and video sharing”. It indicates that it relies on a standardized technology allowing interoperability with international operators and other smartphone manufacturers.

Samsung therefore aims to establish itself as the leader in terms of access to terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks. “in preparation for the arrival of 6G”which he keeps in his sights.

For now, the semiconductor manufacturer does not provide a specific deployment schedule; we therefore do not know when the Exynos equipped with these new modems will be available. However, we can hope that the Galaxy S24s, in early 2024, will be equipped with it, which indicates that Qualcomm’s choice – the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powers the Galaxy S23 series – is a temporary option.

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