Malaysia’s XOX Mobile and AdvanceTC have announced an agreement to launch, over the next nine months, a range of 4G and 5G smartphones named XPLORE. This smartphone series will be designed for everyday use while providing satellite communication capabilities powered by Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellations.
The first model, X5, will combine 18 band 4G LTE connectivity with Iridium satellite networks to enable satellite messaging and emergency services. This is to be followed by Digital Mobile Radio capabilities which will allow for short band two -way radio communications in the subsequent 90 days . The device is aimed to integrate real-time communication applications providing a unified messaging , as well as safety location-sharing capabilities across the cellular, broadband, satellite and digital radio networks.
Targeted at consumers across Southeast Asia, these smartphones are planned for distribution in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia by the second quarter of 2020.
“Our vision is to provide a unified network plan by integrating XOX’s prepaid plans and messaging platform with ATC’s extensive satellite emergency services. Our users will then be able to activate a satellite service as and when necessary, be it for leisure in remote areas, work purposes, day-to-day contact or emergencies. In short, we are innovating rapidly to provide affordable satellite smartphones – first for the country and then the region,” said Steve Tan, the Executive Director of XOX.
“We are excited to collaborate with XOX to bring space connectivity to consumers across South East Asia in 2020. Through seamless integration of 4G, 5G and space networks in Android devices, we provide Mobile Operators and consumers a unique value proposition to increase network coverage, internet access and safety services in ways that are simply not possible with terrestrial networks,” said CP Loi, Chief Executive Officer of AdvanceTC Limited.
“For many remote areas, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite networks are about to become the most affordable internet connectivity solution,” Loi added.