Spacetech in your pocket is an evolution – not revolution

Spacetech in your pocket is an evolution – not revolution

Krucial Co-founder and CEO Allan Cannon reflects on the latest announcements from a host of mobile phone companies that satellite will be available to users in the coming years and points out that while this is positive news, the technology itself is far from new.

Looking to space for connectivity isn’t new, but it’s certainly in vogue.


Following the recent announcement that T-Mobile and SpaceX are teaming up to allow text messages (initially) to be sent via satellite in areas with no cellular coverage, Google, Apple and Huawei have followed suit.


The news signals the move to provide consumer devices (smartphones) direct-to-satellite functionality – theoretically cutting out complete blind spots. What’s more, it’s believed that the technology will, in some cases, be accessible to existing handsets, cutting the need for expensive new consumer hardware at a time when money is tight.


At the moment your cell phones currently connect to terrestrial infrastructure, like a cell tower. Using satellites means the provision of local communications infrastructure (or lack of) won’t affect the ability to connect. The idea is that you will be able to send a text, receive a call and, eventually, enjoy the same connectivity in the wilderness as you would in the middle of a city (though that’s a while off yet).


Krucial Co-founder and CEO Allan Cannon
Krucial Co-founder and CEO Allan Cannon

This is great news – I firmly believe that a more connected world is a better one – but this technology is far from new. In fact, satellites being used to connect devices has been going on for decades. Iridium, for example, has been used for voice calls, messages and video.


At Krucial, we provide a solution which automatically switches between cellular and satellite, whichever is stronger, to guarantee connectivity for smart devices anywhere on earth. What this means is that data is never lost, operational oversight is global, and decision-makers can see what’s happening on remote sites at all times, even during extreme weather.


What these latest announcements do point to is a focus on hybridisation of cellular and satellite – the kind of technology we offer. I even spoke about this publicly at a Can Do event in 2019: soon the day will come when the network your mobile phone connects to could be utilising cellular or satellite – the end user is unlikely to care so long as they’re connected. While we don’t provide satellite connectivity on a consumer level, our technology does tap into what I call ‘cell phone towers in the sky’. 


The hurdles? While a lot of people will see the news that phones can access satellites and assume they can stream Netflix anywhere on earth, the reality is that a lot of development work is still required before that kind of capability is in play. Text messages, maybe even voice calls may work in a hybrid device, but beyond that there’s a lot still to do.


Also, there are already satellites on orbit capable of providing the connectivity required, but factors such as regulations, commercial agreements and integration with software all need to be ironed out – so it’s not the case that phones will be able to utilise satellite technology overnight.


Krucial is on a mission to digitize the planet, and that means using multiple communications protocols to all but guarantee device connectivity. If that same technology, which we have worked on for the last five years at enterprise level, can be developed to connect mobile phones, then we’re on the brink of something spectacular.


Global coverage is ready now, but the question of when it’ll be available in everyone’s pocket is still open.

If you want more information on how Krucial can enable the digitization of water basins, fill out the form below and one of the team will be in touch.

Recent Posts

Proud to be supported by