In the past few months we’ve seen several companies make the jump to develop satellite calling technology with modern smart devices. Samsung is the latest name to jump into the ring, with the company announcing that it has secured standardized 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) modem technology, which essentially allows for direct communication between smartphones and satellites. According to Min Goo Kim, Executive Vice President of CP Development at Samsung Electronics:
“This milestone builds on our rich legacy in wireless communications technologies, following the introduction of the industry’s first commercial 4G LTE modem in 2009 and the industry’s first 5G modem in 2018. Samsung aims to take the lead in advancing hybrid terrestrial-NTN communications ecosystems around the world in preparation for the arrival of 6G.”
NTN is a communications technology that uses satellites and other non-terrestrial vehicles to bring connectivity to regions that were previously unreachable by terrestrial networks, often in rural and far-away uninhabited areas. Samsung adds that it will be critical in assuring operability in disaster areas and powering future urban air mobility (UAM) such as unmanned aircraft and flying cars.
Samsung’s NTN technology also meets the latest 5G NTN standards, and the company has developed and simulated 5G NTN standard-based satellite technology using its Exynos Modem 5300 reference platform to predict satellite locations and minimize frequency offsets. Using on this technology, future Exynos modems will be able to support two-way text messaging as well as high-definition file sharing.
The company likewise plans to secure a standardized NB-IoT NTN technology for use in its next-gen modems. With integrated satellite connectivity, Samsung’s plans to eliminate the need for a separate high-power wireless antenna chip inside smartphones, providing mobile device makers with much greater design flexibility.