Phone call via satellite using a regular smartphone, the next step beyond emergency SOS

Sure, current iPhones can send data via satellites in emergency situations, but two new demos show we'll soon be able to do it regularly. make voice phone calls via satellite communication. You can watch the call and 5G demo in the video below.

The test phone call – along with a separate 5G data download – was made from Maui, Hawaii, to Madrid using the new low-Earth orbit satellite and #8230;

Beyond Emergency SOS via satellite

Satellite Emergency SOS on iPhone 14 and 15 uses an ultra-low-bandwidth connection suitable only for sending very short text messages.

iPhone asks a series of prompt questions and turns your responses into short codes that can be transmitted in just a few bytes of data using existing satellites designed for this type of emergency messaging.

You cannot make voice calls using this feature .

Phone calls via satellite

In contrast, AST SpaceMobile demonstrated the use of satellite communications for regular voice calls and 5G data. The company achieved download speeds of 14 Mbps, which is nothing special in terms of conventional 5G base stations, but is of great importance for satellite communications.

The company announced this in a press release.

AST SpaceMobile, the company behind the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly from standard cell phones, today announced another unprecedented leap in telecommunications by successfully delivering the first-ever 5G voice and data connection between ordinary, unmodified smartphone and satellite in space.

The company's engineers demonstrated 5G space communications by calling a Vodafone engineer from Maui, Hawaii, USA. in Madrid, Spain, using AT&T spectrum and AST SpaceMobile's BlueWalker 3 test satellite […]

In a separate test, the company broke its previous record for broadband data sessions on a space cellular network, achieving download speeds approximately 14 Mbit/s.

The call was made from a location with no mobile voice or data connection, using a completely unmodified 5G smartphone (in this case, a Samsung Galaxy S22). Vodafone and Nokia partnered with AST and AT&T for testing.

Bringing Voice Calling and 5G to the Desert

We hope this technology will bring full smartphone connectivity to areas inaccessible to a mobile landline base station, with the participation of all participating companies. expressing its ambitions.

AST: “We are more confident than ever that space-based broadband can help transform Internet connectivity around the world, filling gaps and connecting the unconnected.”

Vodafone: “Vodafone is committed to closing the mobile usage gap for millions of people in Europe and Africa.”

AT&T: “ We're all working together to achieve a shared vision of space-based communications for consumers, businesses and first responders around the world.”

Nokia: “Space Cellular Broadband can provide life-saving connectivity for underserved communities around the world.”

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