Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon Satellite for emergency satellite connectivity

Snapdragon Satellite

With iPhone 14 series, Apple introduced emergency satellite connectivity. It seems Android devices will soon get the same. At CES 2023, Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Satellite. It is a two-way messaging service that could be available in flagship Android smartphones in the coming months.

For Snapdragon Satellite, Qualcomm has partnered with Iridium which operates a 66-strong Low Earth orbit satellite constellation. Snapdragon Satellite will support two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS, and other messaging apps. The company confirms that Snapdragon Satellite will not be just for emergencies but can be used for communications from remote and rural locations.

“Iridium is proud to be the satellite network that supports Snapdragon Satellite for premium smartphones,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “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.”

Snapdragon Satellite will be available on devices that feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset or later. The company has planned to launch it in select regions starting in the second half of 2023.

Later this feature can also be expanded to other devices such as laptops, tablets, cars, and IoT products. When the feature will be available, it will support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN).

Garmin will also collaborate with Qualcomm to support emergency messaging.

Globalstar is one of the competitors of Iridium. Apple partnered with Globalstar for its iPhone emergency satellite connectivity.

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