Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite Goes Official, Brings ‘Pole To Pole’ Emergency Messaging For Premium Android Smartphones

Omar Sohail
Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite
Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite is arriving for premium Android smartphones

After a series of rumors, Qualcomm announced at CES 2023 its latest feature arriving to premium Android smartphones called Snapdragon Satellite. According to the company, the feature will make use of two-way messaging support with satellites, which can be used in an emergency situation, and it offers truly global coverage from pole to pole. Just like Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite, the feature needs a clear, open sky to work optimally.

Snapdragon Satellite will operate thanks to the collaboration of Qualcomm and Iridium Communications

For those that do not know, only smartphones sporting the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will support Snapdragon Satellite. The reason for this is simple. Qualcomm’s flagship SoC features the integrated Snapdragon X70 5G modem, which sports RF systems that make communication with Iridium’s satellites possible. Durga Malladi, senior vice president, and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure at Qualcomm, expressed his excitement that the feature will arrive to handsets later this year.

“Robust and reliable connectivity is at the heart of premium experiences. Snapdragon Satellite showcases our history of leadership in enabling global satellite communications and our ability to bring superior innovations to mobile devices at scale. Kicking off in premium smartphones later this year, this new addition to our Snapdragon platform strongly positions us to enable satellite communication capabilities and service offerings across multiple device categories.”

How Snapdragon Satellite will work on your Android smartphone

There is currently no word on the level of investment Qualcomm has made with Iridium Communications to bring Snapdragon Satellite to Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered smartphones. However, Matt Desch, the CEO of Iridium, says that millions of users will be connected to this service.

“Iridium is proud to be the satellite network that supports Snapdragon Satellite for premium smartphones. Our network is tailored for this service – our advanced, LEO satellites cover every part of the globe and support the lower-power, low-latency connections ideal for the satellite-powered services enabled by the industry-leading Snapdragon Satellite. Millions depend on our connections every day, and we look forward to the many millions more connecting through smartphones powered by Snapdragon Satellite.”

Qualcomm says that Snapdragon Satellite will arrive for compatible smartphones in the second half of 2023. Unfortunately, the chipset maker did not mention which countries will be the first to receive it and whether or not it will be free at launch. What we do know is that Apple is not the only company whose products provide satellite communication now.

The advantage that Qualcomm has is that any smartphone vendor can incorporate the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC in their products and obtain satellite connectivity, and that includes price-to-performance devices. We have yet to see how well this service will perform, so we will update our readers in the near future. Stay tuned.

News Source: Qualcomm

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