Qualcomm has just announced the launch of Snapdragon Satellite, a new platform that aims to bring satellite connectivity to premium smartphones. This move follows in the footsteps of Apple, which brought satellite connectivity to its iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max models last year. According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon Satellite is the world’s first satellite-based two-way messaging solution for premium smartphones and will provide global connectivity using mobile messaging from anywhere in the world.
The 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. At the heart of Snapdragon Satellite is Qualcomm’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 says that the Snapdragon Satellite solution for smartphones uses Iridium’s weather-resistant L-band spectrum for uplink and downlink.
In addition to supporting two-way messaging for emergency use, Qualcomm says that devices powered by Snapdragon Satellite will also offer SMS texting and other messaging applications for a variety of purposes, including emergencies or recreation in remote, rural, and offshore locations. The company also plans to support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) as NTN satellite infrastructure and constellations become available.
One of the benefits of Snapdragon Satellite is that it can be deployed not only in smartphones but in a variety of other devices such as laptops, tablets, vehicles, and IoT devices. Qualcomm says 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 launched in select regions starting in the second half of 2023.
While Qualcomm didn’t reveal which premium Android devices and PCs the Snapdragon Satellite will be available on, it did say that Garmin is planning to collaborate with the company to support emergency messaging on its smartwatches.
The launch of Snapdragon Satellite is a significant development in the world of connectivity, particularly for smartphone users in remote or hard-to-reach areas where traditional mobile networks may not be available. It’s also a promising step forward for Qualcomm, which is always looking for ways to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving world of technology. With the launch of Snapdragon Satellite, Qualcomm is proving once again that it is a leader in the field of connectivity solutions.
In addition to offering a new way for users to stay connected, Snapdragon Satellite also has the potential to be a game-changer in terms of emergency communication. In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency situation, having a reliable way to send and receive messages can be a matter of life and death. With the ability to send emergency messages via satellite, Qualcomm is helping to ensure that people have a way to stay in touch and get help even in the most challenging circumstances.
Overall, the launch of Snapdragon Satellite is an exciting development for Qualcomm and for the tech industry as a whole. It’s a testament to the company’s commitment to innovation and to bringing new and improved connectivity solutions to the market. With the addition of Snapdragon Satellite to its already impressive portfolio of products, Qualcomm is well-positioned to continue leading the way in the world of connectivity and communication.