Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite enables two-way messaging using the Iridium network

You may soon be able to get true global coverage even in remote areas thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite which will offer pole-to-pole coverage and two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS texting, and other messaging applications.

Qualcomm made this possible through a partnership with Iridium to bring satellite-based connectivity to next-generation premium Android smartphones starting with devices based on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, while emergency messaging support was done in collaboration with Garmin.

Snapdragon Satellite

You’ll just need to point your phone to the sky to send and/or receive messages, and the connection should take place within a few seconds. Note it can only be used for text, and the bandwitdh would not be sufficient for audio, pictures, and videos.

The solution relies on Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems such as the Snapdragon X70 modem to connect to the Iridium low-earth orbit satellite constellation using the L-band spectrum (1 to 2 GHz) that’s also used for global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) such as Galileo, GLONASS, or BeiDou. It looks like two-way messaging will be implemented first, and emergency messaging on Snapdragon Satellite will come later in H2 2023 in select regions, namely Europe and the US.

Snapdragon Satellite Snapdragon X70 5G

Besides premium smartphones, Qualcomm also plans to bring Snapdragon Satellite to laptops, tablets, vehicles, and IoT, and eventually, the company aims to support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN), as the NTN satellite infrastructure and constellations become available.

More details may be found in the announcement and Snapdragon Connect page.

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