Qualcomm, Iridium Brings Satellite-Based Messaging to Android

Qualcomm, Iridium Brings Satellite-Based Messaging to Android

News by Marge SerranoMarge Serrano
Published: January 06, 2023

It’s high time for the technology industry as Qualcomm and Iridium Communications bring the latest innovation to the market, providing a satellite-based messaging service running with Google’s Android operating system. The news came on Thursday as the chipmaker announced it would be available on premium smartphones. 

The partnership comes months after Apple Inc unveiled a similar feature allowing iPhone 14 models to send emergency messages via satellite in some countries such as the United States and Canada. Those phones also contain a Qualcomm chip that can talk to satellites without Wi-Fi or cellular data connection. 

Qualcomm Incorporated, the primary supplier of chip designs for brands like Samsung and Motorola, said on Thursday the new service, "Snapdragon Satellite," will be available in certain regions from the second half of 2023, starting with devices using the second-generation Snapdragon 8 mobile platform. 

Interestingly, Snapdragon Satellite can also be enabled on other devices like computers, vehicles and tablets without any device requirements or special equipment. 

With this new technology brought by Qualcomm and Iridium’s partnership, messages sent through the platform will reach the satellite network, which will then be communicated to the recipient or emergency services. 

Qualcomm, the fabless chip design giant, is dubbed the "undisputed leader…in smartphone technology," according to Desch. With over 71% market share in the premium tier of Android smartphones, that’s hard to argue.  

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