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Samsung announces two-way satellite communication tech for smartphones

The company successfully tested the tech using its Exynos 5300 modem.

Published onFebruary 23, 2023

samsung galaxy logo closeup
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Samsung has successfully implemented two-way satellite communication tech on its Exynos 5300 modem.
  • The tech supports two-way communication for sending text messages, videos, and images.
  • Samsung is also developing solutions to eliminate the need for separate high-power wireless antenna chips inside phones for satellite communication.

Samsung has announced that it now has 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) modem technology for direct communication between smartphones and satellites. The company plans to integrate the tech into its Exynos modems.

NTN communication, currently implemented by Apple for its Emergency SOS service on the iPhone 14 series, allows smartphones to connect to satellites or other non-terrestrial vehicles to provide connectivity in remote regions.

“By meeting the latest 5G NTN standards defined by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP Release 17), Samsung’s NTN technology will help ensure interoperability and scalability among services offered by global telecom carriers, mobile device makers, and chip companies,” the company wrote in its press release.

5G NTN Modem Technology Non Terrestrial Networks Main 2

Samsung’s satellite connectivity tech works on its Exynos 5300 modem to connect to low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. The company says its future Exynos modems will support two-way communication, just like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite solution. Phones equipped with such modems will be able to send and receive text messages, images, and videos.

The launch of Samsung’s satellite connectivity solution for smartphones comes just weeks after the company’s mobile chief TM Roh remarked that the functionality of the technology is fairly limited. Roh gave this as a reason for not adding satellite connectivity on the Galaxy S23 series.

We’re not sure exactly which Samsung smartphones will use the company’s new communication tech. However, many other smartphone makers also use Samsung’s modem tech. The Tensor G2 chip in the Google Pixel 7 series is equipped with Samsung’s Exynos 53oo modem, the same one used by the company as a reference for its satellite communication tech.

Samsung says it’s also developing solutions to eliminate the need for a separate high-power wireless antenna chip inside smartphones, providing mobile device makers with greater design flexibility.