Already, the promise of satellite connectivity on today’s smartphones is looking more and more like a “convenient gimmick” that device makers are rushing to announce as famously as possible. After all, if it works on Apple, Google and Huawei phones, why wouldn’t it work on Samsung phones?
Somehow lagging behind the new trend, the South Koreans at Samsung are also promising to deliver satellite connectivity on already-released 5G phones, but not before November. At least initially, the new service will only be available to Samsung phone owners in the US and Canada.
Moving past the more-or-less promised benefits by actual explanation, the current version of the technology is limited to SMS messaging, with sending a single message taking up to 15 seconds, holding the phone as loosely as possible in a space with clear skies and the least obstructed visibility. The experience could be more frustrating if you need it urgently and it’s bad weather, with sending a single message taking a few minutes, assuming the phone’s battery isn’t already too low to complete the task.
What is certain is that the ability to connect directly to a satellite in Earth orbit, with Samsung or other manufacturers’ phones, even for sending a text message to emergency numbers, will become an absolutely normal, expected feature of any Android or iOS smartphone. All that remains is for users to be properly informed about the new option to use in case of emergency, in the hope that the extension to the emergency number calling function will save as many lives as possible in the long run.