Rugged device specialist Bullitt Group revealed its two-way satellite messaging system would debut on its latest handset in the Motorola Defy range, with the service set to go live this quarter.

At CES in Las Vegas the company released further details of the previously teased technology being made available under the Bullitt Satellite Connect brand, while announcing the Motorola device would be the first to support the service.

Bullitt has licences to develop rugged devices under a range of brands including Motorola Defy, a smartphone series boasting enhanced resistance to drops, water and sand. The latest version is slated for release together with Bullitt Satellite Connect.

The satellite compatibility provides two-way messaging, which executives from the company previously told Mobile World Live went beyond systems being marketed by big-name smartphone players including Apple.

Bullitt Satellite Connect is designed to connect those at the “fringes of coverage” providing two-way messaging through its OTT-style application.

Bullitt’s satellite connectivity partner is Skylo. In a statement Bullitt said Skylo “built and operates the network to provide the ‘always on’ Bullitt satellite messaging service, and manages connections to devices over existing licensed GEO satellite constellations, such as Inmarsat and others.”

The app will initially attempt to send messages through cellular or wi-fi before using satellite as a last resort. The company has signed-up a number of partners to get the service off the ground including a chip deal with MediaTek.

Bullitt’s CES announcement came as Qualcomm unveiled its play in the segment, inking a partnership with satellite player Iridium and unveiling a related offering targeting high-end Android devices.