Elon Musk’s SpaceX and US carrier T-Mobile announced last week that T-Mobile’s users will get direct satellite communications on their smartphones. Now, Google has confirmed that Android 14 will support this feature.
This was announced by Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems. He wrote on his Twitter that the Android team is currently working on satellite support, and the release is planned in the next version of Android. We are talking about Android 14, which should appear in the second half of 2023.
Lockheimer is hinting that the experience of using a smartphone with satellite connectivity will be different from conventional LTE and 5G connections. Speeds and connections will be different, with between two and four megabits of bandwidth per cell area, according to SpaceX. This means that one zone will withstand up to two thousand voice calls at the same time — or hundreds of thousands of text messages (it is not more accurate to give a forecast: it all depends on the length of these texts).
Satellite communications will be predominantly used for emergency calls and coverage of dead zones without conventional cellular coverage. At the first stage, these will be only text messages, later voice and other data transmission may be added.
In the US, this service is planned to be launched in beta testing mode at the end of 2023. To do this, operators need to deal with messages: learn how to stand out from the general traffic flow.