Chipmaker MediaTek said on Friday that it will be demonstrating its innovative 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) technology that brings two-way satellite communications to smartphones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), which will take place from February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain.
NTN is a communications technology that uses satellites and other non-terrestrial vehicles to bring connectivity to regions that were previously unreachable by terrestrial networks, whether over mountains, across deserts or in the middle of the ocean.
The chipmaker will also launch the first smartphones with MediaTek's satellite connectivity, with more devices to be unveiled in the coming months.
"Two-way satellite communications on smartphones and other devices will usher us into a new era of connectivity and open up new possibilities across many different verticals," J.C. Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of MediaTek's wireless communications business unit, said in a statement.
Moreover, the company will team up with Bullitt (UK-based mobile phone manufacturer) to bring the world's first commercially available devices with 3GPP NTN technology, utilising the MT6825 chipset to connect to the Bullitt Satellite Connect platform.
This will include the Motorola defy 2 and CAT S75 smartphones; and the Motorola defy satellite link, a compact and lightweight Bluetooth accessory that allows Android and iOS devices to connect to the Bullitt Satellite Connect platform, according to the company.
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The Bullitt Satellite Connect service will provide users with access to two-way satellite messaging, location sharing, and emergency SOS in more places around the world.
In the coming years, MediaTek's satellite communications portfolio will focus on both IoT-NTN and NR-NTN technology based on the 3GPP 5G Release 17 specification (R17).
IoT-NTN is ideal for messaging since it is designed for low data rate connections, while NR-NTN allows for higher data rates that can support video calls and other applications, said the company.
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