At Mobile Congress Barcelona 2023, MediaTek will showcase its innovative 3GPP Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) technology. NTN brings two-way satellite communications to smartphones. The first smartphones having MediaTek’s satellite connectivity are also launching in the market soon and more devices are to be unveiled in the upcoming months.
In addition, MediaTek will offer a glimpse of its upcoming 5G New Radio NTN (NR-NTN) technology for the future batch of satellite-capable devices.
Satellite networks are emerging as a solution for mobile coverage gaps in remote locations. By enabling smartphones with satellite connectivity, consumers can stay connected in previously disconnected areas, including hiking trails, secluded roads, and boats. This technology provides peace of mind and a means to request assistance in emergencies.
The most significant market opportunity for 3GPP NTN technology is currently smartphones, but there is also a growing demand for satellite connectivity in IoT applications, such as agriculture, forestry, and logistics. In the coming years, the automotive industry is expected to be a significant market for satellite communications technology as well.
“Two-way satellite communications on smartphones and other devices will usher us into a new era of connectivity and open up new possibilities across many different verticals,”
“Our standalone MT6825 chipsets, which are based on the 3GPP NTN open standard, can be integrated into any flagship smartphone to deliver a seamless satellite connectivity experience.”
said, JC Hsu, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of MediaTek’s wireless communications business unit.
Over the upcoming years, MediaTek has plans to release a satellite communications portfolio focusing on both IoT-NTN and NR-NTN technology based on 3GPP 5G specification Release 17 (R17). IoT-NTN is ideal for messaging with low data rate connections, while NR-NTN supports higher data rates for video calls and other applications. However, satellite networks currently only support IoT-NTN on a large scale, so the initial MediaTek devices will be designed for two-way satellite messaging services.
Bullitt and MediaTek have partnered to offer the world’s first commercially available devices with 3GPP NTN technology. The MT6825 chipset will connect to the Bullitt Satellite Connect platform, which includes the Motorola Defy 2 and CAT S75 smartphones, as well as the Motorola Defy Satellite Link, a portable Bluetooth accessory. Bullitt Satellite Connect will provide users with access to two-way satellite messaging, location sharing, and emergency SOS features in more locations around the world.
The forthcoming NR-NTN chipset from MediaTek will enable devices to support high-data-rate services like navigation and real-time communication. This opens up new possibilities for consumers, businesses, and industries, allowing for seamless connectivity worldwide on smartphones, IoT devices, and vehicles. MediaTek’s IoT-NTN solutions are self-contained chips that can be added to any 4G or 5G device to integrate two-way satellite communications easily.
These chips use the open 3GPP R17 NTN standard, providing advantages over competing solutions that rely on proprietary technology. Once a device receives 3GPP R17 IoT-NTN certification, it can be used on any IoT-NTN-compliant network, allowing OEMs to benefit from the standard. Additionally, mobile network operators can partner with service providers to offer roaming services or create their own satellite networks that support the standard.
MediaTek’s MT6825 IoT-NTN chipset offers several other advantages. It can connect to GEO constellations, which are readily available in orbit and can be easily converted into a 3GPP NTN-compliant network. The MT6825 chipset allows for the automatic reception of messages from satellites, which is a more seamless experience compared to other solutions that require manual checking for messages.
Moreover, the chipset has low system requirements, is power-efficient for longer battery life, and has a highly integrated design that can accelerate time to market.
MediaTek has been actively involved in driving satellite connectivity innovation for years, contributing significantly to the 3GPP NTN specifications and collaborating with other industry leaders to develop and test 5G NTN solutions.
MediaTek is showcasing its satellite connectivity demonstrations at MWC in Barcelona, Spain from Feb. 27 to March 2, 2023. To witness these demos, attendees can visit MediaTek’s booth in Hall 3, Stand 3D10.
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