Ryan Haines / Android Authority
- The firm behind CAT phones has announced a two-way satellite messaging service.
- It will debut on an upcoming Motorola Defy rugged smartphone.
Bullitt Group is the company behind CAT-branded rugged smartphones, but the firm’s biggest announcement at CES 2023 isn’t a CAT device. Instead, it’s announced a new two-way satellite messaging service that will arrive on a Motorola device.
Bullitt Satellite Connect launches in Q1 2023 and will allow users to send and receive text messages, send SOS requests, and share their location via satellite. The service will be implemented in collaboration with connectivity firm Skylo and the Inmarsat constellation of satellites.
The company confirmed that the service will debut on an upcoming Motorola Defy rugged 5G smartphone. Bullitt said that more details on this phone will be made available “soon.” Nevertheless, it stands to reason that the device will arrive in Q1 2023 alongside the satellite messaging service.
Don’t want to use this service with a Motorola phone? Then an upcoming CAT phone will indeed offer the feature as well as intelligent switching between satellite and cellular connectivity via a Mediatek chip.
So how does it all work, then?
Well, Bullitt says you’ll need to use its proprietary, free Bullitt Satellite Messenger app in order to take advantage of the Satellite Connect service. It only supports text and emoji for now, but the company told Android Authority that images, audio, and video support will be implemented as the technology progresses.
“Anyone with the free Android or iOS application installed can receive and respond to messages sent from Bullitt Satellite Messenger over IP or satellite, and those without the app will receive messages as an SMS, with an invitation to download the app to respond,” the company explained. Don’t have a phone with satellite connectivity support? Then you can still use the app via Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
The brand confirmed that Bullitt Satellite Connect subscription plans will start from $4.99 a month. The brand also notes that SOS assistance functionality will be available as a 12-month trial.
A Bullitt representative confirmed to us that the service will launch in Europe and North America in Q1 2023, followed by Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America at some point in the first half of 2023. Other markets will follow in the second half of the year.