Apple introduced emergency satellite connectivity with its iPhone 14 models last fall, and obviously Android devices couldn’t be far behind. Yesterday at CES Qualcomm introduced Snapdragon Satellite, a two-way satellite messaging service that will be available on “next-generation premium Android smartphones.”
This is made possible through a partnership with Iridium, which operates a 66-unit low Earth orbit robust satellite constellation. One of its main competitors is Globalstar, which is Apple’s service partner.
Snapdragon Satellite will support two-way messaging for emergency use, SMS messaging and other “messaging apps”. Qualcomm clearly states that it will not only be for emergencies, but also for “recreation in remote, rural and offshore locations”.
This feature will be supported starting with devices that have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. Emergency messaging on Snapdragon Satellite is “planned to be available on next-generation smartphones launched in select regions starting mid second of 2023″, according to Qualcomm.
Snapdragon Satellite can also be extended to other devices, such as laptops, tablets, cars and IoT products. OEMs and application developers can offer unique branded services by taking advantage of satellite connectivity. Snapdragon Satellite will support 5G Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN) when they become available.
Garmin will partner with Qualcomm “on emergency messaging support.” Brad Trenkle, vice president of Garmin’s outdoor segment, said “Garmin welcomes the opportunity to expand our proven satellite emergency response services to millions of new smartphone users around the world.
Garmin Response supports thousands of SOS calls each year and has likely saved many lives in the process, and we look forward to partnering with Qualcomm Technologies and Iridium to help people connect to emergency services no matter where life takes them.” .