Samsung has announced that it has secured standardized 5G non-terrestrial network modem technology for direct communication between smartphones and satellites in remote areas.
The South Korean company plans to integrate this technology into the company’s Exynos modem solutions, allowing more 5G satellite devices. The system sends data via its non-terrestrial networks to low-orbiting satellites and to ground stations, which then contact emergency services.
Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) technology uses satellites and other non-terrestrial vehicles to connect previously unreachable areas. NTN will also be critical in disaster areas and powering future urban air mobility, such as unmanned aircraft or flying cars.
Samsung says its 5G NTN is defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP Release 17). The South Korean company’s technology will help ensure interoperability and scalability among services offered by global telecom carriers, mobile device makers and chip companies.
Further, for reliable communication with Low Earth Orbit satellites, Samsung developed and simulated 5G NTN standard-based satellite technology using its Exynos Modem 5300 reference platform to predict where the satellite will be and minimize frequency offsets caused by the Doppler effect.
Even though this is the same modem in the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro’s Tensor G2 chip, this doesn’t mean Google’s phones will also now have access to satellite connectivity.
Although, strangely, Samsung’s flagships have moved to Qualcomm chips this year worldwide, so, unfortunately, the company’s own devices won’t benefit from this new technology. Qualcomm revealed it’s working on its own form of satellite connectivity earlier this year, but it’s not live yet.
Apple also offers emergency satellite connectivity in the iPhone 14 series, but Samsung’s take on the technology allows users to send full messages, pictures, and videos.