Android 15's Satellite Communication feature may already be live for T-Mobile users

The Android 15 logo from the Android developer website, displayed on a Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

T-Mobile users have recently found that the previously hidden Satellite Messaging page on their device has gone live after the release of the Android 15 Beta 2.

According to a report by Android Authority, users on T-Mobile’s Reddit community report that the “Satellite Messaging” feature has gone live for them. Erichola, a Reddit user on T-Mobile's Magenta plan, shared a screenshot from their Pixel 7 that showed satellite messaging was now included with their account. Another Redditor, Jonathan3579, also reported the same on their Pixel 8 Pro that was subscribed to a "converted SWAC (Sprint Wireless Advantage Club)" plan.

Satellite communication has been rumored to be part of Android 15 for a while, with lines of code found in Google Messages hinting at the feature. T-Mobile also announced that it was working with Space X to release satellite communication to LTE-capable phones and we would see connectivity later this year.

T-Mobile device showing satellite communication

(Image credit: Reddit user erichola)

Why don't more phones have satellite connections?

Satellite communication is difficult to implement on phones, partially due to requiring specialized hardware to function. While there are options, they are an added cost that hardware developers can't always afford. Part of this increased cost is due lack of an industry standard for connection, which has led to hardware vendors creating their own proprietary solutions. 

However, the feature is still being worked on with a particular focus on SOS services. For instance, Apple released its SOS satellite service for the iPhone 14 which aims to help people in areas with no signal reception, and Google was working on a similar feature. Android 15 will also allow users to share their location on Google Maps via Satellite instead of over WiFi.

T-Mobile's version is less specific, and will reportedly allow users to text anyone. While this is a great idea it should be noted that the feature has not been officially released yet, so it is unlikely anyone can send any messages.

For more news on what is coming with the next Android update check our Android 15 hub which we update with all the news and rumors as we hear them.

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Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.