Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems, has hinted at the possibility that the next version of Android could connect directly to satellites.
“Wild to think about user experiences for phones that can connect to satellites. When we launched G1 in ’08, it was a stretch to get 3G + Wifi working. Now we’re designing for satellites. Cool! Excited to support our partners in enabling all of this in the next version of Android,”Lockheimer said.
Existing radio hardware in current Android phones can communicate with satellites, but the software update to enable that will only be available on Android 14.
Google’s efforts complement an alliance between T-Mobile and SpaceX. T-Mobile and SpaceX are expected to begin testing the beta version of the new satellite in the third quarter of 2023, almost at the same time that Google will roll out Android 14.
With the support of Android 14 satellite connections, Android users can connect to a network from anywhere in the world. It will eliminate the lack of Internet connection in rural areas, as Android users can use it to send MMS and also make voice calls and surf the internet with mobile data.
The network will be around 2Mbps to 4Mbps per cellular zone, and although it is slow, its bandwidth will be sufficient to make 1-2000 voice calls, which is very important during emergencies.
The sources for this piece include an article in Android Authority.