Upcoming premium Android smartphones boast satellite connectivity, allowing users to send messages without a mobile signal.
The development is the result of a new partnership between chip maker Qualcomm and satellite communications company Iridium announced at the CES tech event in Las Vegas.
The two companies have worked together on the so-called Snapdragon Satellite chip, which will form part of high-end Android handsets due to be released in late 2023 and beyond.
follow the development of Similar technology in Apple’s iPhone 14 seriesbut this currently only allows you to contact emergency services using a satellite connection.
Qualcomm says the new chip will allow it to connect to Iridium’s satellite network even in non-emergency situations.
Unlike the iPhone solution, Snapdragon isn’t tied to a single brand, so phone makers from Samsung to Google can implement it if they choose.
But in both cases there is the idea that even if there is no cell phone coverage, you can still connect to the satellites your cell phone passes through, a common complaint in rural England.
CES 2023 Details:
Is this the future of electric cars?
PlayStation announces accessibility controller
The show’s most eye-catching gadget
It’s the same pitch made by Elon Musk’s Starlink Companyprides itself on its ability to deliver lightning-fast broadband to the world’s most challenging environments.
However, the entry fee is much higher than standard cable and broadband packages.
As more satellites are put into orbit by the service provider (in this case Iridium), the more targets the devices on the ground can “ping”, the faster and more reliable the connection will be.
Iridium’s constellation of 66 active satellites lies about 485 miles above Earth, spread out and linked together to ensure wide area coverage.
It also requires the user to be outside and have a clear view of the sky for it to work on a smartphone.
The Snapdragon Satellite won’t be a cheap Android model at first, but Qualcomm says it will eventually expand to other devices such as laptops, tablets and even cars.