A new mobile puck will enable text messaging via satellite on cellphones

With SOS and two-way texting for Android and iPhone, a low-cost device has been released to address mobile blackspots.

With the Defy Satellite link, any Android or iPhone receives an immediate upgrade that allows them to send and receive text messages via satellite, eliminating the issue of mobile dead zones for emergencies and outdoor excursions.

The Satellite link, which was unveiled ahead of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and is made by the British phone manufacturer Bullitt under the Motorola brand, links to a typical smartphone through Bluetooth and utilizes an app to transmit both SOS messages and regular two-way text messages.

The thin, credit card-sized puck will start shipping in April and will cost £99 on its own or £149 when combined with 30 messages per month and FocusPoint’s SOS support service for the first year. It uses a new MediaTek processor to link to geostationary satellites in order to send SMS messages to standard phones and receive replies through the cross-platform Bullitt Satellite Messenger app. Without connecting to a smartphone, a button on the side can also send an SOS alert with a location.

Since the 1990s, satellite phones have been accessible, albeit often at a high cost to buy and use. Now that radio technology has advanced, several fundamental satellite functionalities can be integrated into conventional smartphones. A similar service will be made available for high-end Android phones in the second half of 2023, according to a recent Qualcomm announcement. The iPhone 14 can send SOS messages via satellite.

Bullitt hopes to capture this market with its innovative device that lowers the cost of satellite services, making them more widely available. However, both options require purchasing new phones at high cost and cannot be shared within a family.

According to Bullitt co-founder Dave Floyd, the Motorola Defy Satellite connection and the Bullitt Satellite Messenger service make satellite messaging available and reasonably priced for everyone’s existing smartphone. “This is how satellite communications should be democratized,”

In addition to the puck, Bullitt unveiled the £549 Cat S75 rugged smartphone, which features the same integrated satellite communications technology. Bullitt’s long-running rugged phone business, geared toward first responders, rural workers, and off-grid hobbyists, is continuing with the Android.

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