While satellite connectivity has been available for decades, it has required specific protocols and devices, and was limited to large enterprises with specific needs. These devices can be cumbersome to carry and communications have been slow and expensive.
But this is no longer the case. Skylo’s non-terrestrial network (NTN) enables users with certified devices to send messages to any device using satellite. Sending messages requires no change in the users’ behavior – there is no need to “turn on” the satellite function, as the phone automatically recognizes when it is out of cellular range and uses NTN, just like switching between cellular and WiFi.
In this video, we offer a live demonstration using the Skylo-certified Motorola Defy 2 smartphone (from Bullitt Group) to communicate with a standard Apple iPhone, which is using the Verizon Wireless network. This handset enables access to emergency services (SOS), location sharing, and two-way messaging services, along with the other functionality available on a standard Android device.
Dr. Andrew Nuttall, Skylo’s co-founder and CTO, sends text messages between the two devices using Bullitt’s two-way messaging service (via the Bullitt Satellite Messenger application) over-the-top of Skyo’s NTN on its Android smartphone. The application easily displays satellite connectivity via a rocket icon on the GUI. For messages sent via cellular connectivity, this icon would be the standard “paper airplane send” version we’re familiar with today.
Andrew shows that while the messages are traveling 70,000 km roundtrip to the GEO satellite, the delivery is nearly instantaneous. For the iPhone user receiving the message, the user does not need a satellite plan and the message is delivered as if it’s a regular cellular-sent message. No change in behavior is required for either user.
For a complete demo on how this works, please watch the video in this blog.
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