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27 Feb, 2023
2 min time to read

Normal smartphones can be used to send two-way emergency satellite texts through the Motorola Defy Satellite Link Bluetooth accessory.

Bullitt, the company known for producing durable Cat-branded smartphones equipped with thermal cameras, is now incorporating cutting-edge emergency-response satellite technology into a Motorola-branded Bluetooth keychain accessory.

At the recently held MWC 2023 event, Bullitt unveiled the Motorola Defy Satellite Link, which can enable most smartphones to send and receive text messages even in areas without cellular coverage. With the integration of satellite communication features in smartphones, such as the Emergency SOS feature in the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Ultra, and Qualcomm's upcoming plans to add similar technology to high-end Android devices, Bullitt and MediaTek's devices will be the first ones to allow two-way communication via satellite that are available in the market.

For users who enjoy outdoor activities and prefer not to upgrade to a new iPhone, or are disappointed that Samsung's newest Galaxy S23 series does not support satellite communications, the Defy Satellite Link provides a cost-effective solution. This accessory connects to the Bullitt Satellite Messenger app on both Android and iOS devices, allowing users to share their location, request SOS assistance, and communicate via satellites.

At $99, the Defy Satellite Link is a more affordable option compared to purchasing a new phone with built-in satellite communication technology, such as Bullitt's recently announced $599 rugged Motorola Defy 2 smartphone. Both Defy devices utilize the 3GPP NTN open standard "direct-to-device" satellite communications technology to connect to geostationary satellites situated 22,300 miles above the Earth. This MediaTek chip is expected to be seen in other midrange Android phones in the future.

To access the service, a monthly fee of $4.99 (starting) is required for SOS Assist, which is powered by FocusPoint International. Alternatively, customers can opt for a $149 bundle that includes the Defy Satellite Link device and a one-year subscription to an Essentials Messaging service. This bundle allows for up to 30 two-way Bullitt Satellite Messenger messages per month, as well as access to the SOS Assist feature. Recipients of the messages will receive an SMS with an invitation to download the relevant Android or iOS app.

Bullitt's Skylo-backed network can connect to geostationary satellites from Inmarsat and EchoStar for coverage. At launch, satellite coverage will be available across Europe and North America, followed by Australia and New Zealand, Africa, and Latin America in mid-2023, according to CNBC.

In addition to the messaging capabilities, the Defy Satellite Link can also send SOS alerts and location information using a physical check-in button, even if the connected smartphone is unavailable. The device features a 600mAh battery that can last for multiple days and is rated IP68 waterproof and dustproof.