Android’s response to Apple’s Emergency SOS will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite

Published at : 07 Jan 2023 08:44 PM (IST)

In comparison to landlines, mobile phones represent a significant leap forward, and the integration of satellite connection into smartphones may represent the next significant technological improvement. It would seem that we are already on the right road, since Apple’s iPhone 14 currently supports SOS emergency communication via satellite. Now, Qualcomm has introduced Snapdragon Satellite at CES 2023. This new technology will make it possible for the greatest Android devices to engage in two-way satellite communication, and it will not limit apps to SOS warnings.

It was confirmed in September by Android SVP Hiroshi Lockheimer that Android 14 will support satellite connectivity. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite will be the enabling hardware component on upcoming devices, beginning with flagships that rely on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform and its 5G Modem-RF system. This will be the first hardware component to support satellite connectivity. The firm anticipates Snapdragon Satellite expanding beyond Apple-like one-way SOS requests from distant areas to support for full-blown SMS back-and-forth communications via satellite, which will be followed in the future by more apps.

Iridium Satellite Communications and Qualcomm have formed a strategic partnership to provide Qualcomm with access to Iridium’s L-band spectrum low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites for use in global communication. In the not too distant future, Snapdragon Satellite intends to offer 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN). This will be possible when the infrastructure for satellites is improved and more of them circle the planet as constellations. This is what Iridium CEO Matt Desch had to say about it.

Our network was designed specifically for this service, since our cutting-edge LEO satellites are able to reach every part of the earth and provide support for low-power, low-latency connections that are excellent for satellite-based services made possible by the industry-leading Snapdragon Satellite. Every day, millions of people rely on our connections, and we are excited about the prospect of even more millions of people connecting through smartphones powered by Snapdragon Satellite.

According to Qualcomm, mobile devices with the ability to communicate through satellite should become available in the second half of 2023. Additionally, Garmin is already on board with this relationship, with the expectation that upgrades will be made to utilities such as Garmin Response SOS once Snapdragon Satellite is released. In the not too distant future, the technology may find its way into other gadgets that we use on a regular basis, such as tablets, laptops, linked automobiles, and even even internet of things apps.

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