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Qualcomm Partners Iridium to Develop Snapdragon Satellite for Mobile Messaging Solution

Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf Balogun
Yusuf is a law graduate and freelance journalist with a keen interest in tech reporting.

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As the 2023 edition of the world’s most influential tech event – the CES continues in Las Vegas, Qualcomm, the American semiconductors and software has officially announced the world’s first two-way messaging solution for Smartphones named Snapdragon Satellite.

Partnering with Iridium for the World’s First Two-way Messaging Solution

Qualcomm developed the Snapdragon Satellite in partnership with Iridium to deliver the first-gen system and intends for it to be available worldwide and, eventually, to devices besides smartphones.

Over the years, Qualcomm has ambitions to lead in terms of chipsets and other similar hardware for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and mobile data – now, it has announced it is ready to add satellite connectivity to that list.

The OEM has now made it official that it has a contract with Iridium, which could mean that the current influx of high-end handsets will soon be able to use that company’s satellite constellation.

The industry leader in silicon has disclosed that the new alliance aims to provide new Android smartphones access to a new messaging platform. It has been unveiled to provide pole-to-pole coverage and may be used for both leisure activities and emergencies.

Featuring Uplink and Downlink

With Iridium’s weather-resistant L-band spectrum for uplink and downlink, devices globally may have access to it, even in environments like maritime or highly remote ones. But as soon as the required equipment is put in place, Qualcomm plans to expand its coverage via 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN).

Even yet, it might still have some of the drawbacks of Apple’s rival technology, such as restricted access to the sky. Additionally, the new system, which is based on Qualcomm’s 5G Modem-RF technologies, is initially only going to be accessible for smartphones using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC and is reportedly dependent on OEM acceptance.

Coming to Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

As a result, it might not be turned on by default on a brand-new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. However, Qualcomm is optimistic that Snapdragon Satellite usage will advance and develop to the point where it is present on various future device types, including laptops, cars, and IoT devices.

The service will begin in select regions in the second half of 2023 with the activation of the emergency response service, which Garmin will offer to compatible 8 Gen 2 devices.


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