Apart from brands like Apple and Huawei, currently, there are no smartphones that support built-in satellite connectivity. What Motorola decided upon was to introduce a satellite hotspot communicator that is compatible with any phone. Apparently, the company now plans to launch another accessory that will enable satellite communication to more of its devices.
- Don't miss this: How to use iPhone's emergency SOS via satellite feature
Following the release of the Motorola Defy Satellite Link hotspot, which has been made through a partnership with Bullitt, Motorola has now teased a new modular smartphone accessory in a snap-on case known as the Tiantong satellite phone module. The device is scheduled to be announced in China today.
The name suggests that coverage will be provided by the Tiantong-1, which is a geostationary satellite network that covers China. Once the case is paired to your handset, it should be able to allow two-way satellite calling and messaging on a smartphone. There's even a dedicated switch on the case to initiate satellite calls.
It remains unclear how much the phone module will cost and its compatibility with Motorola phones or the bundled services that will be offered. At the same time, we could only know more details today whether Motorola will launch a variant of the case that will support other regions besides China.
If your phone lacks satellite connectivity and you have plans to venture to remote places, the most viable option at the moment is the Defy Satellite Link. It costs $149 and comes with a 1-year basic subscription plan and 30 SMS per month. What's great about this device is that it works in the USA and most parts of Europe.
As for other satellite-ready phones, the upcoming Apple iPhone 15 will get the same emergency SOS via satellite as its predecessor. On the other hand, Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S24 will come with the said feature via 5G non-terrestrial networks by next year.
Do you find satellite connectivity an essential function in a smartphone? We'd like to hear your thoughts on this matter.