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Next Android update could have satellite connectivity

Next Android update could have satellite connectivity

According to the media outlet 9to5Google, it is estimated that the satellite connection for smartphones with the Android operating system could arrive by mid or late 2023. (TechBeezer)

After the spread of the possibility that the new iPhone 14 line would have access to a satellite connection through the Globalstar operator, and the SpaceX and T-Mobile companies announced similar support, Google reported that the next version of the system Android operating system (14), will have a similar system.

As reported by 9to5google, Hiroshi Lockheimer, senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems at Google, indicated that the Android team is already designing for satellites and that this support will be available in the “next version of Android”, which has been confirmed to be the number 14. The media outlet estimates that it could arrive by the middle or end of 2023.

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On the other hand, the representative of the technology company indicated that the way users will be able to experience the satellite connection will be different from what is currently available with smartphones and the regular LTE or 5G signal. Both speed, connectivity and interaction time could change with this new technology.

only for emergencies

The connection of smartphones by satellite is aimed at emergency services in areas where the telephone signal of regular operators cannot reach. In this way, the “dead zones” of cell phones could be eliminated.

The iPhone devices, and possibly the Apple Watch, will have the option of satellite connection available, although only to be able to send messages in areas where the signal of mobile operators does not have reach.
The iPhone devices, and possibly the Apple Watch, will have the option of satellite connection available, although only to be able to send messages in areas where the signal of mobile operators does not have reach.

Similarly, this limitation would also be experienced by Apple devices that would have this feature integrated into future models. Both iPhones, and possibly the soon-to-be-released Apple Watches, can connect via satellite, but currently it’s only possible to send text messages to other devices. Calls are not yet properly supported on these connections.

According to Mark Gurman, a technology journalist for Bloomberg, the 17 Globalstar satellites that are available to provide this service would not be enough to allow calls or MMS. For this, it would be necessary to invest in a greater infrastructure. 9to5Google indicates that 2023 is the year in which this functionality would be tested in its beta version.

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How Starlink works

Elon Musk, creator of the Starlink satellite network, which seeks to provide the internet globally, began to develop a new generation of satellites for version 2.0 of the service that, although it is not available for mobile devices, it is for use In the home.

Starlink availability map (Capture)
Starlink availability map (Capture)

In order to access the internet through Starlink satellites, the customer must contract the service, which is currently not available worldwide. Once purchased, the user will receive the antenna self-installation kit, which once installed must point to the sky to have the connection in an exact location.

As indicated on the Starlink website, the kit’s antenna must be placed in an elevated area and/or free of obstacles, such as a tree, a chimney or a utility pole. Any of these obstacles can interfere with the connection and leave you without internet.

In Latin America Starlink is only available in specific areas of Chile, Colombia and Brazil. Elon Musk’s satellite internet will be available between 2022 and 2023 depending on each country.

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In 2022: Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Bahia (Brazil), Paraguay and Argentina.

In 2023: Bolivia, rest of Brazil, rest of Chile, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Balice and rest of the Dominican Republic

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