Apple brought satellite connectivity to smartphones with the launch of the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max smartphones last year. Now, Qualcomm is doing the same, albeit in the typical ‘Snapdragon’ fashion. The chipmaker today announced the launch of Snapdragon Satellite. Also Read - CES 2023: Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon Ride Flex SoC for an advanced automotive experience
Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon Satellite is the world’s first satellite-based two-way capable messaging solution for premium smartphones and that it will provide global connectivity using mobile messaging from around the world. The newly introduced satellite messaging solution is a part of Snapdragon Connect, which includes chips and solutions for providing connectivity options such as 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Also Read - Apple's 'Find My' app helps to locate stolen car: Here's how
At the back of Snapdragon Satellite is the company’s Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems and the fully operational Iridium satellite constellation, which enables smartphones and other devices powered by this solution to send emergency messages. Qualcomm said that Snapdragon Satellite solution for smartphones utilises Iridium’s weather-resilient L-band spectrum for uplink and downlink. Furthermore, the company said that Snapdragon Satellite will enable original equipment maker and other service providers to offer global satellite coverage from pole to pole. Also Read - Apple is working on ‘AirPods Lite’ to compete against cheaper earbuds: Report
As far as usage is concerned, Qualcomm says that devices powered by Snapdragon Satellite will not only support two-way messaging for emergency use, but they will also offer SMS texting, and other messaging applications – for a variety of purposes such as emergencies or recreation in remote, rural and offshore locations. The company said that Snapdragon Satellite is planned to support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN), as NTN satellite infrastructure and constellations become available.
A good thing about this solution is that it can not only be deployed in smartphones but in a variety of other devices such as laptops, tablets, vehicles and IoT devices.
Coming to availability, the chipmaker said that Snapdragon Satellite will be available starting with devices based on the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform and that the emergency messaging service on Snapdragon Satellite will be available on next-generation smartphones that will be launched in select regions starting in the second half of 2023.
Qualcomm didn’t reveal which premium Android devices and PCs the Snapdragon Satellite will be available on. However, it did say that Garmin is planning to collaborate with the company to support emergency messaging on its smartwatches.