Qualcomm announces Snapdragon Satellite for Android, and it’s not just for emergencies
Apple introduced emergency satellite connectivity with its iPhone 14 models last fall, and obviously Android devices couldn’t be far behind. Today at CES, Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Satellite, a two-way satellite messaging service that will be available on “next-generation premium Android smartphones”.
This is made possible through a partnership with Iridium, which operates a constellation of 66 satellites in low Earth orbit. One of its main competitors is Globalstar, which is Apple’s partner for its service.
Snapdragon Satellite will support two-way messaging for emergency use, texting, and “other messaging apps.” Qualcomm makes it clear that it won’t just be for emergencies, but also “for recreation in remote, rural and offshore locations.”
It will be supported from devices with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. Emergency messaging on Snapdragon Satellite “is expected to be available on next-generation smartphones, launching in select regions from the second half of 2023,” according to Qualcomm. .
Snapdragon Satellite can also extend to other devices, such as laptops, tablets, cars, and IoT products. OEMs and application developers can offer unique branded services by leveraging satellite connectivity. Snapdragon Satellite will support 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) as they become available.
Garmin will work with Qualcomm “with support for emergency messaging”. Brad Trenkle, Vice President of Outdoor Segment, Garmin, said, “Garmin welcomes the opportunity to extend our proven satellite-based emergency response services to millions of new smartphone users worldwide. Garmin Response takes care of thousands of SOS incidents each year and has likely saved many lives in the process. , and we look forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies and Iridium to help people connect to emergency services no matter where life takes them.”