Google to Add Satellite Compatibility in the Next Android OS
According to the recent tweet by Google SVP of platforms and ecosystems Hiroshi Lockheimer, Android 14 will be compatible with satellite communications. If that turns out to be true, Google will give a push to the trend to enable mainstream devices to receive space-based signals.
Lockheimer noted his team was working to enable satellite communications in the next version of the OS. Google has only just launched Android 13 and is expected to roll out a beta of version 14 in April 2023. Apple is rumored to be preparing a satellite messaging service with Globalstar in its next iPhone, which it is scheduled to unveil tomorrow.
Exploiting satellite connectivity to plug mobile network coverage gaps is certainly a hot topic. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and T-Mobile US boss Mike Sievert have already announced the mobile operator plans to offer basic services to mobile phones by using Starlink’s second-generation satellites. In addition, AST SpaceMobile is aiming to launch a phone-to-satellite service and has dealt with various operators.
Start-up Lynk Global is planning to offer commercial services by the end of this year and has signed-up operators across Central Africa, Mongolia as well as several Pacific and Caribbean nations. AT&T also struck a deal with Starlink rival OneWeb to sell broadband services to businesses outside the area of its fiber network and Verizon plans to extend its reach to underserved communities via a partnership with Amazon.