Qualcomm to Bring Satellite Connectivity to Android Smartphones

Qualcomm today announced plans to bring satellite-based connectivity to next-generation Android smartphones, giving smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and Google a way to compete with the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature that Apple rolled out alongside the iPhone 14 models.

qualcomm snapdragon gen 2
Snapdragon Satellite is a two-way satellite-based messaging solution provided through satellite company Iridium. Qualcomm says support for messaging using satellite connectivity will be built into the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, with smartphones that use the technology set to come out starting in the second half of 2023.

Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon Satellite functionality will be used for emergency messages to begin with, similar to Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature that is made available through a partnership with Globalstar. Qualcomm also mentions SMS texting and connectivity in remote, rural, and offshore locations as possible use cases for Snapdragon Satellite, suggesting that it may not be limited to use in emergencies in the future.

While Snapdragon Satellite will launch first in smartphones, Qualcomm says that it can also be used for laptops, tablets, vehicles, and IoT devices, with OEMs and app developers able to differentiate and offer unique branded services that use satellite connectivity.

Snapdragon Satellite will use the Iridium satellite constellation, which uses L-band spectrum that Iridium says is "more resilient to weather" than frequencies used by other networks. Android smartphones that adopt Snapdragon Satellite will still need a clear view of the sky to function, and messages can be sent in as little as 10 seconds with a solid connection.

In addition to working with Iridium, Qualcomm also plans to partner with Garmin to provide emergency response services for users. There is no word yet on how Iridium, Qualcomm, and Android smartphone makers plan to charge customers for satellite access.

Top Rated Comments

Htsi Avatar
15 months ago

Won't work half as well. Apple's invested a ton into Globalstar to buy them new satellites and ensure reliability, while Iridium's got a decayed ground network that Qualcomm isn't going to be helping to boost.

Another gimmick from a pathetic company that needed to be hammered into the ground years ago.
Half a loaf better than none. Won’t affect people who use iPhones. No point being negative.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
c172fccc Avatar
15 months ago
Good. Satellite connectivity can be a lifesaver. The more smartphones with that feature, the better.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gordonfreeman5500 Avatar
15 months ago
Isn't it Qualcomm that made it possible on the iPhone? Their X65 modem allows for communication on band n53, which is shared by Globalstar's satellites.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Corsig Avatar
15 months ago
Will they mock apple first about it before copying?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheYayAreaLiving ?️ Avatar
15 months ago
Apple introduced this technology on iPhones first.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Htsi Avatar
15 months ago
Excellent progress. Capitalism is a good motivator
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

New Macs and iPads Coming Soon: What to Expect

Saturday February 17, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Following the launch of Apple's Vision Pro headset, attention has shifted towards what is next on the company's agenda this year. As usual, March should be eventful for Apple, as it is expected to release new MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Air models during the month. In a recent press release, Apple also confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March. Below, we recap what to expect...
Apple Watch Series 9

5 Major New Features Rumored for This Year's Apple Watch

Sunday February 18, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Thinking about upgrading your Apple Watch or buying one for the first time? If your current smartwatch is doing its job just fine and it's only the idea of a good deal that's piqued your interest, it could be worth holding out until later this year when Apple unveils its next-generation version. Here's why. There are already several rumors from reputable sources that suggest 2024 could be a...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....