Last update: January 8, 2023 11:51 AM
Apple has already given us a taste of satellite communications with the new iPhone 14 SOS feature, and soon Android phone users will get a chance to experience the technology.
Qualcomm unveiled its Snapdragon Satellite technology at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show 2023 (CES 2023). It’s a step ahead of Apple’s capabilities and promises to offer two-way messaging support and other possible apps in the future. It means that it can communicate via satellite, allowing two-way communication that the iPhone cannot.
It’s no surprise that Qualcomm brought this feature to Android. The prospect of Android 14 supporting the technology has already been mentioned quite a few times. Snapdragon Satellite is enabled on smartphones with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. This is expected to become the flagship SoC in flagship smartphones in early 2023.
Qualcomm is deploying this technology with the help of Iridium Satellite Communications, which provides low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites in the L-band spectrum for communications around the world. But that’s not all. Snapdragon hardware will also enable 5G-based network communication via satellite in the near future.
The chip giant has confirmed that devices capable of this technology will be rolled out in the second half of 2023, but we expect a new batch of Snapdragon 8th generation devices to arrive before they also have the ability to communicate via satellite. Samsung plans to bring this feature to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 series, but we don’t know if Google will integrate the feature into the Pixel 8 series’ Tensor chip this year.
Apple’s satellite technology was developed in-house with the help of Globalstar, which powers this feature. The iPhone 14 series is his first Apple hardware to adopt the technology, and the company has been offering its SOS messaging service free of charge for his two years, after which the feature will be charged to consumers.
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