At CES 2023, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced Snapdragon Satellite, which the company claims is the world’s first satellite-based two-way capable messaging solution for premium smartphones. Snapdragon Satellite will provide global connectivity using mobile messaging from around the world, starting with devices based on the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform. This means devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, iQOO 11, Oppo Reno 10 Pro Plus, Vivo X90 Pro Plus and similar devices will get this capability first. Check the details.
“Kicking off in premium smartphones later this year, this new addition to our Snapdragon platform strongly positions us to enable satellite communication capabilities and service offerings across multiple device categories,” said Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager, cellular modems and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
What is Snapdragon Satellite
This new messaging solution is powered by the Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems and supported by the fully operational Iridium satellite constellation. The company stated that the Snapdragon Satellite will enable OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and other service providers to offer full global coverage. This means no matter where you are on the planet, you will be able to stay connected using this feature, even if you do not have a mobile network.
The solution for smartphones utilizes Iridium’s weather-resilient L- band spectrum for uplink and downlink. Emergency messaging on Snapdragon Satellite is planned to be available on next-generation smartphones, launched in select regions starting in the second half of 2023.
The feature is not just reserved for smartphones. The company revealed that Snapdragon Satellite can expand to other devices, including laptops, tablets, vehicles and IoT. As the Snapdragon Satellite ecosystem grows, OEMs and app developers can offer unique branded services taking advantage of satellite connectivity. Snapdragon Satellite is planned to support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN), as NTN satellite infrastructure and constellations become available.
“Our network is tailored for this service – our advanced, LEO satellites cover every part of the globe and support the lower-power, low-latency connections ideal for the satellite-powered services enabled by the industry-leading Snapdragon Satellite,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium.
It should be noted that Apple also included a similar feature called Satellite connectivity in the iPhone 14 series which would allow users to reach out to emergency services even when they do not have a mobile network using satellite calling. However, this feature is not available in India at the moment.