The Android ecosystem will soon be able to take advantage of satellite connectivity even when users are out of Wi-Fi or cellular network coverage, in so-called mobile “not spots.”
Iridium Communications announced a deal with Qualcomm Technologies to enable satellite messaging and emergency services on smartphones powered by Snapdragon Mobile Platforms.
This comes after Apple launched a similar connectivity feature in November 2022 that would allow iPhone 14 models to send emergency messages via satellite in some countries such as the United States and Canada.
Apple said it will expand the feature to the UK, France, Germany and Ireland in December 2022.
These Apple iPhone handsets also include a Qualcomm chip that can communicate with satellites when there is no Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
A partnership between Qualcomm and Iridium Communications will bring similar services to users of Android handsets.
Basically, high-end Android handsets with Snapdragon Mobile Platforms will have this connectivity feature thanks to the Iridium satellite constellation.
Urgent message using Snapdragon Satellite “expected to debut in late 2023 on premium Android smartphones launched in select regions.”
Rather than opting for a single smartphone manufacturer, the collaboration between Iridium and Qualcomm Technologies is aimed at supporting satellite services to various smartphone brands, with the potential to expand to other consumer devices in the future. There is a nature.
Iridium CEO Matt Desch said:
“Working with mobile technology leaders such as Qualcomm Technologies and their powerful Snapdragon platform will enable Iridium to serve the smartphone industry horizontally, with other consumer and vehicle applications in the future. We have the opportunity to make it possible,” said Desch. “This supports our larger vision of connecting people and things on the move, wherever they are!”
Durga Malladi, senior vice president and general manager of Cellular Modems and Infrastructure at Qualcomm, said:
The move to improve mobile connectivity comes after the companies revealed that about 85% of the world’s surfaces lack cellular coverage.
In fact, it is estimated that well over 500,000 square miles of the United States, in addition to vast oceans, are unaffected by cell signals from any provider.
However, smartphones equipped with Snapdragon Satellite will gain global connectivity, allowing them to send and receive urgent messages and text messages to friends and family from anywhere on the planet with a view of the sky.
Messages sent through this service reach Iridium’s satellite network. The recipient or emergency services will then be notified.
Garmin is reportedly coordinating emergency response services for users.
He added that Snapdragon Satellite can also be enabled on other devices such as laptops, vehicles and tablets.
In August 2022, Elon Musk’s SpaceX and American mobile operator T-Mobile US announced plans to use Starlink satellites to expand cellular coverage in the United States.
T-Mobile US said it has partnered with SpaceX to use the company’s Starlink satellite constellation to provide network access to mobile users in areas without cellular coverage in the US.
This development will eliminate the need for American cell phone companies to install their own cell phone towers or use rival cell phone towers in areas without cell phone towers.