Apple introduced emergency satellite connectivity for its iPhone 14 models last fall, and apparently Android devices are not far behind. Today at CES, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon Satellite, a two-way satellite messaging service that will be available on “the next generation of high-end Android smartphones.”
This is made possible through a partnership with Iridium, which operates a 66 strong constellation of low earth orbit satellites. One of its main competitors is Globalstar, which is a service partner of Apple.
Snapdragon Satellite will support two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS text messaging and “other messaging apps”. Qualcomm made it clear that it’s not just for emergencies, but “recreational activities in remote, rural, and offshore locations.”
Starting from devices with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. According to Qualcomm, the urgent message on the Snapdragon Satellite is “planned to be available on next-generation smartphones starting in the second half of the year” in select regions.
Snapdragon Satellite can also be extended to other devices such as laptops, tablets, cars and IoT products. Original equipment manufacturers and application developers can leverage satellite connectivity to offer uniquely branded services. The Snapdragon Satellite will support 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) when they become available.
Garmin will work with Qualcomm to “enable emergency messaging.” “Garmin welcomes the opportunity to extend our proven satellite emergency response service to millions of new smartphone users around the world,” said Brad Trenkle, vice president of Garmin Outdoors. “Garmin Response supports thousands of SOS incidents each year and may Many lives have been saved in the process, and we look forward to working with Qualcomm Technologies and Iridium to help people connect to emergency services no matter where they are.”