Android 14 to bring satellite support to phones – here’s everything you need to know

Android 14 to bring satellite support to phones – here’s everything you need to know
Representational image.Unsplash
  • The upcoming Android 14 update will bring satellite connectivity to phones.
  • Google’s senior vice president for Android has confirmed that the company is working on enabling the feature in the next version of Android.
  • Here’s everything you need to know about satellite connectivity for phones.
Elon Musk-led SpaceX and T-Mobile recently announced their partnership to bring satellite connectivity to smartphones, enabling cellular connectivity anywhere in the world. Now, Google has confirmed that it is working on adding satellite connectivity to Android 14.

In a tweet, Hiroshima Lockheimer, the senior vice president of Android at Google, confirmed that the Android maker would add satellite connectivity to the upcoming Android 14.

“Wild to think about user experiences for phones that can connect to satellites. When we launched G1 in '08, getting 3G + Wifi working was a stretch. Now we're designing for satellites. Cool! Excited to support our partners in enabling all of this in the next version of Android!” Hiroshi Lockheimer said in a tweet.

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While talking about satellite support, Lockheimer recalled the difficulties faced with adding 3G and Wi-Fi support to the T-Mobile G1, the first consumer Android smartphone released in 2008.

We may soon see satellite connectivity support for iPhones as well. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a post, said that Apple has completed hardware tests for satellite connectivity and whether the feature will be available on the iPhone 14 or not will depend on whether the Cupertino giant can reach an agreement with telcos.

What is satellite connectivity?


Unlike traditional services like 4G and 5G that use towers, satellite connectivity is offered through low-earth orbit or geostationary satellites in space. Satellite connectivity can be offered virtually anywhere in the world.

What is the use of satellite connectivity?

Satellite connectivity will benefit areas with no traditional connectivity options or cellular dead zones. It will be helpful in emergencies as people can connect with emergency services or their loved ones from anywhere in the world.

Is satellite connectivity better than 4G and 5G?

Satellite connectivity is not a replacement for traditional connectivity options such as 4G and 5G. It is useful in cellular dead zones or rural areas where traditional connectivity is lacking.

According to the Space Explored report, the bandwidth in satellite connections will likely be limited to 2 to 4 megabits per cellular zone.

What will be the cost of satellite connectivity?

Currently, there is no information about the pricing of satellite connectivity, but we expect it to be slightly pricey.

Will Satellite connectivity be available on existing phones?

Satellite connectivity will be available on selected devices once the feature is added to Android 14. We should know more about the eligible devices once the update is launched.

Will satellite connectivity be launched in India?

Companies will need to procure approval from the government before offering satellite connectivity in India. To recall, SpaceX was forced to refund customers in India who had pre-booked Starlink by the Department of Telecommunications as it did not have a license.


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