Over the last few days, ever since Elon Musks announement that Starlink V2 will get satellite communication to smartphone devices and that of a T-Mobile would be aiming to bring direct satellite connectivity to smartphones, there has been a lot of movement in this space with many more announcements in the industry.
Following the hype, today Google’s Senior VP of Platforms & Ecosystems, Hiroshi Lockheimer has stated that they’ll soon (as soon as Android 14) be supporting their partners in launching the satellite communication on Android devices by adding support for Android OS to connect to satellites.
Satellite connectivity on phones is primarily aimed at emergency situations and getting rid of cellular dead-zones. T-Mobile plans to support (text) messaging, MMS, and even “select messaging apps.” The carrier said it would need to cooperate with partners to “separate messaging traffic from all other data traffic.” It hasn’t started this work yet, and will do so over the coming months. In the long-term, it will see about supporting data and voice. Late 2023 is being targeted for initial beta availability of this service.