Qualcomm and Iridium have announced Snapdragon Satellite, a solution that brings satellite-to-cellular services to the next generation of Android smartphones.
Snapdragon Satellite supports bi-directional messaging from pole to pole in remote, rural and offshore locations.
“Robust and reliable connectivity is at the heart of a premium experience. Snapdragon Satellite demonstrates our history of leadership in enabling global satellite communications and our ability to bring great innovation to mobile devices at scale.” said Durga Malladi, SVP and GM of Cellular Modems and Infrastructure at Qualcomm.
Partners say the service can be used for recreational purposes, but satellite connectivity is most beneficial in emergencies.
Last year, Apple partnered with Globalstar to launch its own satellite-based Emergency SOS feature. Many people reported that this feature saved their lives just weeks after launch.
In one case, after a car fell off a mountain cliff, a passenger’s iPhone automatically detected the collision and made a satellite SOS call to inform emergency services of the accident and its location. Within 30 minutes, the occupants were rescued by helicopter.
“If they couldn’t send out an SOS, they could have spent the night there, got wet, and developed hypothermia.
“They were lucky to be out in the middle of nowhere with no cell phone signal and asking for help.”
Snapdragon Satellite offers similar benefits to Android users, starting with devices based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform.
“Our network is tailored for this service. Our advanced LEO satellites cover every corner of the globe and offer ideal low-speed satellite-based services enabled by our industry-leading Snapdragon Satellite. It supports high-power, low-latency connections,” explains Matt. Desh, CEO of Iridium.
“Millions of people rely on our connectivity every day, and we look forward to connecting millions more via smartphones equipped with Snapdragon Satellite.”
Snapdragon Satellite uses Garmin’s satellite emergency response service.
Brad Trenkle, vice president of Garmin’s outdoor segment, said:
“Garmin Response supports thousands of SOS incidents each year and may have saved many lives in the process. We look forward to connecting with you.”
Additionally, Qualcomm and Iridium say the Snapdragon Satellite will be extended to other devices such as laptops, tablets, vehicles and IoT devices.
“By working with mobile technology leaders such as Qualcomm Technologies and their powerful Snapdragon platform, Iridium will be able to serve the smartphone industry horizontally, enabling other consumer and vehicle applications in the future. It gives us the opportunity to do that,” concludes Desch.
Related: SpaceX and T-Mobile Partner on ‘Satellite to Cellular’ Service
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