Last week, SpaceX and T-Mobile announced that they will bring satellite communications to smartphones.
Today, Google announced that similar support will appear in Android 14.
Google Announces 3G + Wi-Fi on Android Phones
The announcement was made by Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems.
In his announcement, he also recalled that in 2008 there were “difficulties getting 3G + Wi-Fi to work” on the first Android phones (HTC Dream/T-Mobile G1).
Lockheimer suggested that “the user experience of a phone that can connect to a satellite” will be different from traditional LTE and 5G connections.
Satellite Communications on Smartphones, Tablets, and Android
Speed, connectivity, and even interaction times are expected to change — just “2-4 Mbps of bandwidth per cell range.”
Elon Musk said satellite communications could support “between 1 and 2,000 simultaneous voice calls or hundreds of thousands of text messages, depending on the length of the text messages.”
Satellite communications on smartphones are primarily for emergencies and getting out of cellular dead zones. T-Mobile plans to support SMS, MMS, and even “the ability to select a messaging app.”
The operator separately added that existing iPhone and Android devices will be supported, but the user experience will directly depend on the capabilities of the operating system