Satellite connectivity start-up Lynk Global hailed a breakthrough in its quest to use space-based systems for mobile broadband, revealing it successfully sent a text message from a satellite to an unmodified mobile phone.
Video of the test shows engineers receiving an emergency alert message on what appears to be an Android phone. The company, formerly named UbiquitiLink, claimed the exchange was the first of its kind using a common handset rather than a specialised device.
In a statement, the company said it conducted the first test on 24 February, repeating it multiple times since.
Lynk Global co-founder and VP of technology Tyghe Speidel said the achievement represents “a critical verification” of its radio access technology, which was built to compensate for the effects of placing a cell tower in orbit, a use case he noted “mobile standards were not designed for”.
Progress comes as the company presses ahead with plans to deploy a network of LEO satellites capable of delivering commercial mobile service.
It noted in a press release it launched a fourth satellite as part of Space Exploration Technologies’ (SpaceX) CRS-20 mission earlier this month, and plans to expand testing in the coming months. Lynk Global CEO Charles Miller added it is working with nearly 30 mobile network operators to launch a commercial product by the end of 2020.
Miller previously told Mobile World Live its aim is to provide a service capable of offering affordable connectivity to “the last 2.5 billion people on earth who don’t have a phone”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back