Advanced Television

Qualcomm confirms Snapdragon for satellite

January 6, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Qualcomm used the CES show in Las Vegas to showcase its Snapdragon chip especially engineered for satellite smartphone use.

Snapdragon Satellite is a two-way satellite messaging service that will be available on “next-generation premium Android smartphones”. Its first announced customers are a partnership with satellite operator Iridium and a “collaboration” with Garmin.

Snapdragon Satellite will support two-way messaging for emergency use and SMS texting, and “other messaging applications”. Qualcomm stressed, however, that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip-set won’t be just for emergencies, but also “recreation in remote, rural, and offshore locations”.

“Robust and reliable connectivity is at the heart of premium experiences. Snapdragon Satellite showcases our history of leadership in enabling global satellite communications and our ability to bring superior innovations to mobile devices at scale,” said Durga Malladi, SVP/GM cellular modems and infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies. “Kicking off in premium smartphones later this year, this new addition to our Snapdragon platform strongly positions us to enable satellite communication capabilities and service offerings across multiple device categories.”

“Iridium is proud to be the satellite network that supports Snapdragon Satellite for premium smartphones,” said Matt Desch, CEO/Iridium. “Our network is tailored for this service – our advanced, LEO satellites cover every part of the globe and support the lower-power, low-latency connections ideal for the satellite-powered services enabled by the industry-leading Snapdragon Satellite. Millions depend on our connections every day, and we look forward to the many millions more connecting through smartphones powered by Snapdragon Satellite.”

Snapdragon Satellite can be expanded to other devices such as laptops, tablets, cars, and IoT products.

Garmin confirmed its collaboration with Qualcomm and will use Snapdragon for emergency messaging. Brad Trenkle, VP/Garmin’s outdoor segment, said: “Garmin welcomes the opportunity to expand our proven satellite emergency response services to millions of new smartphone users globally. Garmin Response supports thousands of SOS incidents each year and has likely saved many lives in the process, and we are looking forward to collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies and Iridium to help people connect to emergency services no matter where life takes them.”

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